Singapore Airlines latest to end shark fin shipments

The city-state of Singapore is one of the top four exporters of shark fins and the third largest importer, while Hong Kong is the largest importer.

Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Nicholas Ionides Philippine Airlines shark fins sharks fins Singapore Airlines Thai Airways Traffic World Wide Fund for Nature WWF

Singapore Airlines has followed the lead of other major airlines by announcing it will end the carriage of shipments of shark fins. “SIA Cargo has been carrying out a thorough review, taking into account the increasing concerns around the world related to shark finning. With effect from August 1, it will no longer accept the carriage of shark fin,” Nicholas Ionides, SIA vice-president of public affairs said in an email.

The carrier came under increasing pressure from environmental groups, who recently focused the sharp end of their campaign on Philippine Airlines, who responded by announcing they would cease carrying the fins. An online petition urging SIA to cease carrying shark fins garnered over 46,000 signatures since going live last August. A 2009 report by Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, showed Singapore to be one of the top four exporters of shark fins and the third largest importer. Hong Kong is the largest importer.

In late 2012, Cathay Pacific became the first airline to stop carrying shark fins with other carriers following suit, such as Korean Air, Asiana, Qantas and Air New Zealand. Last week, Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles became the 21st and 22nd airlines to ban shipments of shark fins and conservationists are now turning their attention to Thai Airways.

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.”