Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cathay Pacific bans shipping of shark products

Thumbs up to Cathay Pacific, Oneworld's top-ranked carrier!  In an unprecedented move, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong's famed flag carrier, announced that it will ban any and all shipments of shark products on its cargo flights.  The announcement was met with praise from scores of international environmental organizations as Cathay Pacific, the world's largest air cargo carrier, is estimated to ship between 20-50% of the world's harvested shark fins.

China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, consumes 95% of the world's shark fin soup trade, which has been attributed to decimating shark populations around the globe.  Recently, the states of California, home to the largest shark fin soup market outside of Asia, and Hawaii have banned restaurants from serving shark fin soup, a move that many Chinese restaurant owners have decried as an abasement towards their cultural heritage.  However, as the detrimental environmental effects of shark finning become unshrouded, amounting support of shark fin banning has brewed across the world.
A scalloped hammerhead, a globally listed endangered species, is finned alive before being released back into the ocean.
Typically, the carcass of a shark has little to no market value, so shark finners just cut off the fins and release the shark into the ocean, where it suffers a gruesome death via suffocation and loss of blood.  The cruel practice has lead some species, like the scalloped hammerhead, to decrease in population by 95% within the past 3 decades.  In fact, an estimated 73 million sharks are harvested annually for shark fins, and, of those killed, 30% are estimated to be listed as threatened or endangered species.
Popular Chinese celebrities such as Yao Ming and Jackie Chan have taken to the stage in an effort to ban shark finning.  Cathay Pacific is the first major corporation to partake on such an endeavor, a move that the air cargo giant said will take 3 months to implement.  This is all the reason more to support and fly with Cathay Pacific, which has consistently ranked as one of the top 3 carriers in the world with their exceptional all-around service and unparalleled on-board food, seats, and amenities. 

First class to Hong Kong, anyone?

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