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More airlines say no to shark fins

The practice of shark finning has taken another hit.

Air Pacific, Fiji’s national airline, banned the carriage of shark fins and shark-related products from unsustainable and unverified sources. After a month-long review of its freight policies, the airline – which will soon be named Fiji Airways – will only accept shipments of shark-related products from sources where individual shark species aren’t threatened.

"We have always understood that this is a sensitive and important matter,” Aubrey Swift, Air Pacific’s acting CEO, said. “Notwithstanding the gross inaccuracies and misleading reporting about this issue by some sections of the media, we recognize and accept our responsibilities on environmental and conservation issues and take them very seriously.”

Qantas banned carrying all shark fins, according to the South China Morning Post.

Air New Zealand has also announced a total ban on carrying shark fins, even if they were sustainably obtained. In May, the airline stopped flying shark fins to Hong Kong after the New Zealand Shark Alliance told the media about the airline’s shipments.

Shark finning is the practice of slicing off a shark’s fin and leaving the rest of the body in the sea. An estimated 73 million sharks around the world are finned each year.

Air Pacific, Qantas and Air New Zealand join Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and Cathay Pacific in banning the transport of shark fins.

“We believe a ban on the shipment of unsustainably-sourced shark fins is the right thing to do and have implemented this policy effective immediately,” Swift of Air Pacific said. “We will now work with conservation partners and the fishing industry to prepare and implement policies and processes that will ensure that future shipments are sustainably sourced.”