Air China becomes first mainland carrier to ban shark fin cargo

South China Morning Post
Fins are removed as sharks are procesed on May 20, 2011 in Puqi town, Yueqing city of Zhejiang Province, China. Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in China carrying a symbolic significance of wealth and prestige.
VCG | Getty Images

Air China Cargo has become the first mainland carrier to ban the transport of shark fin, dealing another blow to the international trade.

The carrier, which is part of Air China and responsible for cargo shipment on freight planes and the airline's commercial aircraft, did not specify when the policy change would take effect.

Shark's fin soup
hana/Datacraft | Getty Images

Some 36 airlines have now joined the ban globally.

Following the announcement on Friday, a wildlife expert said the move was likely to have a "huge and lasting" impact on shark populations and ecosystems.

In a statement posted on its website, the cargo company said it was committed to playing a bigger role in global sustainability.

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"We understand the community's desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices, and this remains important to Air China Cargo's overall sustainable development goals," the statement read.

Last year, budget carrier HK Express became the first local carrier to implement a ban, followed in recent months by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.

Also in July, mainland China's biggest shipping and ­logistics company, China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco Shipping), pledged a total ban on shark fin transportation.

The shipping giant is the fourth-largest container operator in the world with a 7.7 per cent market share.

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