Source: The Washington Post
A week after China announced landmark plans to ban trade in ivory, China’s national flag carrier Air China has become the first airline in mainland China to ban shark fin cargo, a move which wildlife activists are seeing as hugely significant. China is the principal market for shark’s fin soup and medicinal uses of shark’s fin, which is responsible for the killing of tens of millions of sharks annually.
The news is further evidence of a radical shift taking place in China, under pressure from environmental groups like WildAid, who crucially enlisted the help of basketball star Yao Ming in its anti-shark fin campaigns. In July last year, China COSCO Shipping, a Chinese state-owned shipping giant, also banned shark fin, and in 2015, the Chinese government took shark’s fin soup off official banquet menus.
The measures seem to be having a positive effect, with China issuing data that shows shark fin imports declined by 82 percent between 2011 and 2014. According to WildAid, over the same period, wholesale prices of shark fin declined by 50–67 percent, from $270–300 per kilogram to $90–150.
In the U.S., pressure continues to mount on FedEx, which has failed to take similar action, despite rivals DHL and UPS banning shark fin shipments in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
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