For ages, sharks have been caught for their fins, only to be thrown back into the sea with the fins on deck. Without the fins, sharks cannot swim and will die a slow death. The fins are prized in the Chinese culture, served in many banquets as a symbol of status and/or social standing.
Alex Hofford sparked an awareness campaign on the brutal practices with his photography. In 2013, Dr Michael Aw started an online petition, urging SIA, who carries a substantial air freight out of Hong Kong, to stop carrying shark fins in its cargo holds.
Some nine months and 45,000 odd “signatures” later, SIA responded with the following:
Dear Dr Aw,
Please allow me to introduce myself; I head up Public Affairs here at Singapore Airlines. I understand you have written to us in the past about the carriage of shark fin on our flights.
I am following up today to let you know that SIA Cargo has been carrying out a thorough review, taking into account the increasing concerns around the world related to shark finning. With effect from 1 August it will no longer accept the carriage of shark fin.
On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I wish to thank you for your longstanding support.
Nick ========== Nicholas Ionides Vice President Public Affairs
SIA’s latest moves joins Cathay Pacific Airlines in banning shark fins from its holds.
Image attribution: Encourage Singapore Airlines to STOP shipping Shark Fins