The city-state of Singapore is one of the world’s top exporters of shark fins, but it won’t be able to rely on its national airline to transport the controversial animal product for much longer. Singapore Airlines (SGX:C6L) announced that its SIA Cargo flights will stop carrying shark fins, effective Aug. 1.
SIA Cargo spokesman Nicholas Ionides said in a statement that the company had been “carrying out a thorough review, taking into account the increasing concerns around the world related to shark finning,” before deciding to ban the carriage of shark fins altogether.
The change comes after a push on social media and pressure from conservationists who amassed thousands of petition signatures urging Singapore Airlines to join other airlines that have stopped transporting shark fins in the last two years. Activists had also announced on Facebook a day of protest for Aug. 10, during which they would meet at Singapore Airlines check-in counters in Singapore, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and Hong Kong to protest the airline’s policy.
Alex Hofford, a Hong Kong-based photographer and director of conservation group WildLifeRisk, led the push on social media and considers the announcement a big step toward stamping out shark fin consumption. “We are delighted at Singapore Airline’s commendable decision to stop shipping shark fin,” he told the South China Morning Post. “It’s a really significant victory by taking out one more link in the supply chain to Hong Kong.”
Cathay Pacific of Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Swire Group (LSE:SWRA) was the first to prohibit shark fin carriage in 2012, and 22 other airlines have followed suit in banning or restricting the transport of shark fins. Last week, Etihad Airways and Air Seychelles were the most recent airlines to ban shipments of shark fins.