Garuda Indonesia bans transport of shark fins

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Garuda Indonesia bans transport of shark fins

November 26, 2013 - 17:06

Commitment represents major step in curbing global shark fin trade.

Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737

Joining a growing number of airlines, Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda has banned the transport of shark fins and other shark products on their aircraft. The airline’s commitment represents a major step in curbing the global shark fin trade. To date, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Fiji Airways and Korean Air are among the carriers enacting the ban.

WWF-Indonesia hailed the new policy as a “major step forward to reducing the global market for shark products.” “WWF-Indonesia commends this move by Garuda Indonesia. Their policy to cease transporting shark fin products is a positive step that should generate further momentum in the shark conservation movement,” said Nazir Foead, WWF-Indonesia’s conservation director. According to the conservation group, the airline had previously transported 36 tons of shark fin products annually.

In Hong Kong, hub of the global shark fin trade, falling shark fin prices may be an indication that international campaigns and regulations banning sales are succeeding in curbing demand. Despite falling prices, Indonesia remains one of the world’s top exporters of shark fins and other shark products, exporting an estimated 434 tons of shark fins in 2012 with an estimated value of 6 million dollars.

Demand for shark fin soup in East Asia has taken a heavy toll on shark populations. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually; a number that far exceeds sustainable levels. Conservationists believe one third of all open-ocean shark species are at risk of extinction.