After garnering headlines worldwide for its ban on shark-fin shipments, Cathay Pacific Cargo addressed the company’s new stance in a press release. Under the carrier’s revised policy, which is slated to go into effect in approximately three months, Cathay Pacific will only haul shark-related products when shippers verify that the cargo is sustainable.
Cathay Pacific Cargo Director Nick Rhodes said the Hong Kong-based carrier didn’t come to the decision lightly and received guidance from experts regarding the sustainability of shark-fin shipments. Prior to this decision, the carrier transported roughly 300 tonnes of shark products a year, a load propelled by Hong Kong’s reputation as the hub for the shark-fin trade.
Rhodes said Cathay Pacific had been contemplating a ban for quite some time and was swayed by “compelling scientific evidence to support that this is the right thing to do for a company committed to sustainability.” “Specifically,” he said, “due to the vulnerable nature of sharks, their rapidly declining population, and the impacts of over-fishing for their parts and products, the threat to the shark species is real.”
He also addressed rumors that Cathay Pacific’s decision was based on its relationship with the Marine Stewardship Council, calling such reports “groundless.” Instead, Rhodes said, data provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature influenced the carrier.
“We focus on facts on sustainable development in our decision,” Rhodes said in a statement. “We are implementing policies to support our words with tangible actions.”