Why shark fins?
Shark finning refers to the act of slicing the fins off a shark, often while it is still alive then dumping its body at sea because it has no value. These sharks then sink to the ocean floor, suffocate and bleed to death. This is happening every minute of the day. Learn more about shark finning and the industry here.
Banning the transport of fins in air cargo is an important step in shark conservation. Once shark fins are separated from their carcass, it becomes much harder to identify the species and thus verify whether the fins have been harvested illegally through the barbaric act of finning or legally by complying with ‘Fins Naturally Attached’ regulations. This drastically hampers management and protection strategies. DNA testing is the only reliable method of identification for its conservation status and verifying the legality of the catch but this is expensive and time-consuming.
In many parts of the world, finning is not banned and considered legal, but the method of fin collection remains equally as brutal. It is impossible to inspect each cargo shipment to confirm whether these include fins belonging to endangered or CITES protected species, for which trade and transport are prohibited.
As such, airlines are profiting from a destructive and often illegal industry that butchers millions of sharks annually and fuels the increasing loss of marine biodiversity and the very survival of our ocean.
A total ban on transportation is a simpler and more elegant solution.
These are difficult times for airlines due to COVID restrictions, but it is important to note that many airlines received COVID bailouts from taxpayers totalling $123bn; sharks get no bailout. Additionally, an airline confirming a ban on transporting shark fins will only boost their credentials and reputation going into an era of eco-conscious consumers. Already ~50 airlines have confirmed a ban, however this is just a drop in the ocean for the hundreds of airlines left to tackle.
Sep 2020: SATA Azores announces shark fin ban
Current target airlines:
South African Airways (a member of Star Alliance)
@flySAA_US claims to proudly be a member of the @staralliance. Unlike the other members, you continue to transport shark fins. The finning industry is killing 100mil sharks annually. Like the other members of the Star Alliance, be part of the solution and enact a #sharkfinban.
The shark finning industry is putting sharks at risk of extinction. Fishermen sell the shark fins at a price of $400 per kg. A living shark is worth $2mil over its life. A shark alive is worth more than a shark dead. Be apart of the solution @flySAA_US and implement a ban todayTWEET THIS MESSAGE NOW
The shark fin trade is brutal, fins are sliced off live sharks and millions perish each year. Many airlines perpetuate this barbaric trade by facilitating transportation. @Avianca Be part of the solution and commit to a shark fin ban today? #FlyWithoutFinsTWEET THIS MESSAGE NOW
Hey @Avianca! Please demonstrate your environmental responsibility as an airline that cares about a healthy ocean by protecting marine life. @LATAMAirlines and @CopaAirlines have officially pledged not to transport shark fins – will you join them? #SaveOurOcean #FlyWithoutFinsTWEET THIS MESSAGE NOW
Hi Fly Airline (Portugal)
Thank you @hifly_airline for your thoughtful single-use plastics policy on your flights, but could you kindly commit to ending the carrying of cruel and unsustainable #shark fin cargo? Sharks are in danger, and we need your help! #FlyWithoutFinsTWEET THIS MESSAGE NOW
Omni Aviation (Portugal)
@OmniAviationPT Please demonstrate your environmental responsibility as an airline that cares about a healthy ocean by protecting marine life. @cathaypacific has officially pledged not to transport shark fins – will you join them? #SaveOurOcean #FlyWithoutFins
What you can do to help with other worldwide airlines? Send either a ‘Call for Change’ or ‘Thank You!’ tweet.
Once you’re logged into Twitter, click the TWEET button by the airlines you want to call to.
✅ Airlines that have declared they don’t carry sharks fins receive a ‘thank you and bravo’ tweet.
❌ Airlines that have not declared a policy banning the carriage of shark fins receive a ‘call for change’ tweet, asking them to implement a ban and stop facilitating and perpetuating the barbaric shark fin trade.
We want to see all airlines with ✅. When an airline publicly declares a ban on transporting shark fins they are moved from ❌ to ✅.
How often to tweet? No more than five times a day as Twitter thinks you’re a spam bot! Tweeting every few days to keep the pressure on and the message clear is perfect.
The two messages are:
❌ Call to Change (for this to be effective, please tweet regularly)
Airlines and sharks can’t flywithoutfins.org. Sharks are vital for oceans but killed for shark fin soup. Many airlines still fly fins but got $123bn COVID-19 bailouts; sharks got none. Please STOP carrying shark fins. #IATA
✅ Thank you!
Bravo and thank you for banning the carriage of shark fins on your airline. Why can’t all airlines do the same? #IATA
Since the campaign began…
… and only through the help of passionate members of the public such as yourself and our pilot fish, the following airlines have confirmed they do not carry shark fins as cargo:
• Aegean • Africa World Airlines • Austrian Airlines • Air Dolomiti • Brussels Airlines • CAL Cargo • Cargolux • Eurowings • Safair • Silk Air • Volotea •
Source: Animal Welfare Institute