Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific airline announced a ban on the shipment of shark fins Wednesday. In this photo, workers lay out pieces of shark fin to dry on a rooftop of a factory building in Hong Kong, Jan. 2, 2013. REUTERS/BOBBY YIP

Cathay Pacific announced Wednesday a ban on the shipment of shark fins. Earlier, the Hong Kong-based airline said that it would only allow the shipment of sustainably sourced shark fins.

Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s biggest cargo airlines, did not approve any shipment requests for shark-related products in the last year.

“We understand the community’s desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices, and this remains important to Cathay Pacific’s overall sustainable development goals,” the airline said in a statement, “Therefore, on the issue of shark’s fin, with immediate effect we are happy to agree to ban the carriage. We will continue to review this practice, as we do all our sustainable development policies.”

Their previous policy, approved by two international shark conservation agencies, states that any request for shipment of shark or shark products must be assessed by an external panel of acknowledged experts. Based on this policy, Cathay Pacific rejected 15 shipment requests last year.

Reports said that Marine conservationists hailed Cathay's decision, with one proclaiming that it would make Hong Kong “proud.”

“More Hong Kong businesses need to follow the lead,” Hong Kong-based conservationist Sharon Kwok reportedly said.

Scientists reportedly estimate that at least 100 million sharks are killed every year. Sharks are targeted for their fins for use in shark fin soup, a delicacy in Asia. They are slow-growing and slow to reproduce and are vulnerable to overfishing.