Very Welcome News – China’s biggest airline bans shark fin cargo – China Southern Airlines says it is taking a stand for animal conservation.


China’s biggest airline bans shark fin cargo

China Southern Airlines says it is taking a stand for animal conservation

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 5:13pm

UPDATED : Thursday, 20 April, 2017, 11:07pm


The ban on shark fin shipments by China Southern Airlines will narrow the options for traders of the delicacy.


China Southern Airlines, the mainland’s biggest carrier, has banned shark fin shipments and promised to “actively participate” in animal conservation.

The decision is significant as the company is based in Guangzhou, the world’s largest trading hub for the delicacy, and it narrows the options for Chinese importers.

It means that 51 per cent of international airlines, based on seat capacity, have now banned the cargo. Flag carrier Air China had already banned shark fin, leaving just China Eastern among the big three state-owned airlines yet to declare a position.

No to shark fin: China’s biggest shipping line Cosco pledges total ban on carrying product

Robust campaigning by wildlife activists over the years has also led the nation’s largest shipper and logistics firm, China COSCO Shipping, to come onside.

In a letter to WildAid Hong Kong, seen by the Post and confirmed by the airline, China Southern’s vice-president Han Wensheng said the company “attached great importance to the issue” and had “taken immediate action”.


The nation’s largest airline by revenue and eighth biggest globally said it had banned shark fin on passenger and cargo flights as of March 1, but the letter was its first public announcement of the policy change.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to extend our appreciation to the global coalition of shark and marine conservation groups for your constant attention and support to China Southern’s air transport business,” Han said.

Air China becomes first mainland carrier to ban shark fin cargo

The airline said it would “shoulder its social responsibility” and pledged to “actively participate in the cause of wild animal and plants conservation … to jointly promote conservation culture and the sustainable development of [the] human community with the general public.”

Environmentalists have long campaigned against the trade in fins – a staple at weddings and banquets – saying the harvesting methods are cruel and that shark populations have declined dramatically.

Other carriers making the same commitment include Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, British Airways, American Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.

Worldwide, 17 of the 19 biggest shipping lines measured by container capacity have banned shark fin, impacting 71 per cent of the global market.

Notable signatories include Maersk, the world’s biggest, and former Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee-hwa’s family company Orient Overseas Container Line, better known as OOCL.


Hong Kong airlines Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon impose total ban on carriage of shark fin

Alex Hofford, wildlife campaigner at WildAid Hong Kong, applauded the move.

“This particular shark fin airline ban will be hugely impactful for the simple fact that Guangzhou is the world’s largest shark fin trading hub, even eclipsing Hong Kong,” he said.

“China Southern’s ban will no doubt send a strong message to the many Guangzhou shark fin traders that their business activities are often illegal, but always unethical, immoral, cruel and unsustainable.”

Attention will now turn to the United States with the likes of FedEx and United Airlines – whose recent mistreatment of an Asian-American passenger thrust it into the spotlight – likely to face growing pressure to change their ways.

More than a dozen protesters descended on a press conference held by FedEx on Thursday to protest about shark fins as the company launched an online service in Hong Kong to tap into the burgeoning e-commerce and online shopping market.

“Questions remain on why United States air carriers FedEx and United Airlines still continue to ship shark fin, often illegally,” Hofford said.





USA: Urgent Action Needed – Down to the Wire: Comments Needed to Pass Bill Protecting Hawaii’s Fish From Aquarium Trade


Down to the Wire: Comments Needed to Pass Bill Protecting Hawaii’s Fish From Aquarium Trade.


We’re down to the wire on passing the bill protect Hawaii’s fish from the aquarium trade. Comments from wildlife lovers like you have helped the bill get this far. We need your help again to ensure this bill makes it all the way to become law!

The bill saves wild fish from being collected for the aquarium trade by ending aquarium permitting in Hawaii with a freeze on existing permits, pending a clean management plan that excludes aquarium trade interests. 

But Senate Water & Land Chair Karl Rhoads may seek to gut that language.


Call and e-mail Senator Rhoads to encourage him to pass SB 1240 HD 1 and protect Hawaii wildlife, not wildlife profiteers! 

You can contact Senator Rhoads at and 808-586-6130.


Peter Fugazzotto, Strategic Programs Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network




UK: News from the world of whales and dolphins.

News from the world of whales and dolphins

Hi Mark 

I thought I’d share this wonderful image of a minke whale with you. This beautiful whale is a symbol for me of how all whales should be – living their lives, undisturbed in the ocean, without the threat of a harpoon.

A wild minke whale

You can help us stop the whale hunts

I’m sure you were as saddened as I was to hear that Japan’s whaling boats returned from their Antarctic hunt with 333 minke whales. After the outcry it sparked last year, the Japanese government hasn’t yet released figures on how many of them were pregnant. If we go by the 2016 figures then we can guess that well over 100 of the whales they killed could have been carrying a baby. 

You can help. If you have a Twitter account, please take part in our action and ask the EU to say ‘no’ to a trade deal with Japan while Japan kills whales. And please make a small donation to help fund our campaign .

I have some good news for you too – travel industry giant, Thomas Cook, is taking great strides in the right direction by reviewing its stance on promoting captive whale and dolphin facilities. I’ll bring you more news on that next month as well as on the progress we are making in our project to create the world’s first sanctuary for ex-captive beluga whales.

Until then, thank you for being part of WDC. We couldn’t be here for whales and dolphins without you!

With very best wishes,

Julia Thoms, WDC campaigns manager