The cargo division of China's flag carrier Air China has become the first mainland carrier to ban the transport of shark fin, local media reported.
Air China Cargo, which is responsible for all cargo shipments on the carrier's freighters and passenger aircraft, did not specify when the policy change would take effect.
With its decision to ban shark fin cargo, the carrier joins more than 30 other airlines worldwide in the battle against the controversial trade, including Hong Kong-based Hong Kong Express, which implemented the ban last year, as well as Cathay Pacific and its sister company Cathay Dragon (the former Dragonair). Other major airlines observing the ban include British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and American Airlines.
China Southern under pressure
Chinese media reports said that focus has now turned to mainland China’s other major airlines, especially one of the biggest global carriers by revenue - China Southern Airlines, a member of the SkyTeam and SkyTeam Cargo alliance. The company is based in Guangzhou, an area singled out as a major shark fin trading hub.
Conservation group WildAid said Air China’s action to save sharks would be far-reaching. According to the group, research has found that Chinese consumption of shark fin declined by 50% to 70% in recent years.
Nol van Fenema