Cathay Pacific bans shark's fins on all flights
HONG KONG flag carrier Cathay Pacific said on Wednesday it will ban the carrying of shark's fins on all its flights, a victory for conservationists concerned for endangered species of the predator.
Hong Kong is one of the world's biggest markets for shark's fin, which is viewed by many Asians as a delicacy.
Animal-rights campaigners have been pushing Cathay for a ban for years. Other airlines, including Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines, initiated the ban in recent years.
Cathay confirmed that the prohibition extended to both cargo and passenger flights.
In its statement, it said it has not approved "any shipments" for shark's fins for the past year, adding that it had rejected 15 requests.
Marine conservationists praised Cathay on its decision, with one saying that it would make the city "proud".
"It's high time that Cathay took the stand.
"It would make Hong Kong people proud," said Hong Kong-based Aquameridien conservation foundation executive director Sharon Kwok.
Hong Kong's government in 2013 said it would stop serving shark's fin at official functions.
Environmental group WWF said 457 tonnes of shark products were imported into Hong Kong by air last year, a 31 per cent drop from 2014.
More than 70 million sharks are killed every year, said the WWF.
Huge quantities are exported to Hong Kong and most are sent on to mainland China.