Singapore Airlines Bans Shark Fins from Their Cargo Flights

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Singapore Airlines has decided to make it clear: they like sharks. And they are professing their support by agreeing to stop carrying shark fins on their SIA Cargo flights. The change goes into effect on August 1st. 

A SIA Cargo spokesperson said in a statement, “SIA Cargo carried out a thorough review which took into account increasing concerns around the world related to shark-finning. Following this review, SIA Cargo will no longer accept the carriage of shark’s fin, with effect from August 1." 

Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring network, determined Singapore was one of the top four exporters and the third-largest importer of shark fins, based on records from 2000 to 2009. Hong Kong is the largest importer. Wildlife protection organizations began lobbying airlines to stop the commercial transport of shark fins. By decreasing the number of carriers, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) determined it would "directly impact overall availability and, in turn, lower consumption." 

In late 2012, Cathay Pacific became the first airline to stop carrying shark fins. They are based in the Hong Kong, at the heart of the trade. Other airlines followed suit, such as Korean Air, Asiana, Qantas and Air New Zealand. SIA Cargo's decision came after an online petition asking them to reevaluate their shark fin policy received about 45,000 signatures.

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Wildlife organizations are, of course, thrilled. Alex Hofford, director of WildLifeRisk, was behind the social media push asking SIA Cargo to change their ways“This decision is a major milestone in our global campaign to encourage airlines everywhere to go shark-free," he said, "The new shark’s fin cargo policy of Singapore Airlines will go a long way in helping the shark populations in South-east Asia recover from the relentless onslaught that they have been suffering at the hands of the shark-fin trade for decades."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.