Philippine Airlines Will Stop Shark Fin Shipments

Philippine Airlines announced earlier this week that it will stop the transportation of shark fin shipments after a report was released that the carrier had flown 6.8 tons of illegal products from Dubai to Hong Kong.

pal shark fin
Copyright Photo: Nico Reonisto/PPSG
In an interview with the South China Morning Post, a Philippine Airlines spokesperson, confirmed that the carrier would stop the shipments. "It's a total stop. We are stopping the shipment on all fronts, not just to Hong Kong," said Cielo Villaluna, PAL spokesperson. "PAL takes the issue of protection and conservation of endangered marine life seriously."

Earlier this month, conservation and ocean advocacy groups Fins Attached and WildLifeRisk, stated that they had discovered 136 bags of dried shark fins that had been flown in from Dubai on Philippine Airlines. It was estimated by the groups that the shipment totalled 6.8 tons sent by a Dubai-based shipping agent under the name of "International Maritime and Aviation LLC."

Last year, the group had submitted a letter to Philippine Airlines in August regarding the shipment of "illegal, unregulated, and unreported fish, shark, and shark products." However, the airline did not issue a reply.

"Obviously we're delighted that Philippine Airlines has seen fit to turn its back on the dirty shark fin trade by joining a growing family of airlines that take their corporate social responsibilities seriously," said Alex Hofford, WildLifeRisk Director. "It's another victory for the sharks, and we hope that other regional carriers such as Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways will quickly follow PAL Cargo's fine example.

Philippine Airlines issued a statement that it would "formalize and strengthen a freight policy it has recently adopted to stop the shipment of shark fin in support of its overall commitment to sustainable development." In addition, the carrier plans to circulate a policy for the immediate implementation and strict compliance across the organization.

According to the PAL statement, "PAL takes the issue on protection and conservation of endangered marine life seriously, recognizing that the company's long-term interest is and should be consistent with sustainable and responsible business practices."

Last year, Philippine Airlines announced that it would end the transport of live animals for cruel research and experimentation after an extensive international campaign was mounted led by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

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