24 June 2013 - Fiji’s national airline, Air Pacific, announced yesterday a ban on the carrying of shark fins and shark-related products sourced from unsustainable and unverified sources. In the future, the airline will only accept shipments of such products from sustainable sources - where individual shark species are not threatened - and will work with stakeholders to institute an independently verifiable process to achieve this.What this means is that they will still continue to transport shark and shark related products.
According to Aubrey Swift, Air Pacific's Acting CEO, the airline took only one month to review the fright polices that dealt with shark derived products. "We have always understood that this is a sensitive and important matter. Notwithstanding the gross inaccuracies and misleading reporting about this issue by some sections of the media, we recognize and accept our responsibilities on environmental and conservation issues and take them very seriously”, he said.
“Our findings indicate that Fijian-licensed vessels have documented standards in place on how to effectively manage this issue. The situation is not so clear for unlicensed or foreign vessels. After taking into account various considerations, our review highlights that we need clearer and stricter policies in place to ensure that suppliers only ship sustainably–sourced shark products.This is consistent with our overriding commitment to environmental protection and conservation efforts in Fiji. We believe a ban on the shipment of unsustainable sourced shark fins is the right thing to do, and have implemented this policy effective immediately. We will now work with conservation partners and the fishing industry to prepare and implement policies and processes that will ensure that future shipments are sustainably sourced", Mr. Swift added.
After Air Pacific made this public, the Australian company Qantas took the same approach:
"The Australian national carrier said it would in future only carry shark fin from so-called sustainable sources, The announcements came a day after Fiji's national airline Fiji Airways -- renamed from Air Pacific this month -- said it would carry shark fin from sustainable sources only."
South Korea’s largest airline company, Korean Airlines, had a similar policy as Air Pacific last week. On June 21 2013, Korean Airlines decided to change and eliminate the clause that it previously had only carried shark fins. Certain shark fin businesses obtained the approval of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). By having this “seal” of approval of CITES, many more sharks are being killed “legally”. Korean Airlines, made the coherent decision to ban all the shipping of shark products. It takes common sense to see that killing and killing in controlled groups of sharks it is still killing. Although certain shark finners work as “approved” fishermen, they are still killing a creature that is going to be extinct in a few decades. The murder of a majestic shark is not worth it for soup or any topical medical pills.
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