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.
What airline is being focused on at this time?
Royal Air Maroc, more commonly known as RAM, is the Moroccan national carrier, as well as the country’s largest airline. RAM is wholly owned by the Moroccan Government, and has its headquarters on the grounds of Casablanca-Anfa Airport. RAM has been identified as an airline that transports high quantity shark fin.
You can help now by regularly sending Tweets to RAM to request that they immediately stop the transportation of shark fin.
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 •