In light of the recent news that HK Express has now stopped the shipping of shark fin and shark related products, we now urge Cathay Pacific to do the right thing and follow suit. Over 35 airlines have now gone shark free and it’s time for Cathay Pacific to do the same!
In 2012 Cathay Pacific announced that they would ‘’stop shipping unsustainably sourced sharks and shark related products.’’ They also stated they would ‘’only accept a shark fin cargo after the goods are verified by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.’’ Although this was wellcomed, it is insufficient as there is currently NO such thing as ‘’sustainable shark products’’.
The truth is that shipments of so-called sustainable shark fin only serve to create a laundering mechanism for fins from illegal and unsustainable sources to enter the trade.
Over 100 million sharks are killed every year for the shark fin trade and much of that as a result of by-catch from the fishing industries. 50% of shark fins come directly into Hong Kong which is why we urge Cathay Pacific to ban ALL shark related products from its cargo operations.
More sharks are being killed each year than can sustainably reproduce. Being apex predators, it is natural for shark numbers to be low. Compared with other fish, sharks are slow growing and take years to mature – for some it can take up to 20 years. Also, sharks do not always breed every year which makes shark populations highly vulnerable to over-fishing.
There is little to no regulation within the shark trade so it’s not known what kind of shark fin is being transported and sold. It impossible to effectively police the open oceans or, indeed, the private docks where both unattached fins and shark catches can be landed illegally and under the radar of officials.
Sharks play a vital role in maintaining an important balance in our oceans. Marine ecosystems are as delicate and complex as any other on our planet and we cannot predict the precise effects that eliminating sharks would have. The oceans help regulate the earth’s temperature and generate about 70% of the world’s oxygen. They are a precious resource and anything that might jeopardize their stability is simply not worth the risk. Healthy oceans need sharks.
Cathay Pacific, it’s time to review your policy and ban ALL shark fin and shark related products on your aircraft with immediate effect!
Please sign and share this petition to help protect sharks.