Air China Cargo has become the first airline from the Chinese mainland to ban the transport of shark fins aboard its aircraft, joining 36 airlines from around the world that have enacted similar bans on environmental grounds.
For Air China and other mainland carriers, the decision has meaningful financial implications. Shark fins can fetch up to US$650 per kilogramme. According to sharktruth.com, a single whale shark pectoral fin can be worth up to $20,000 and a basking shark pectoral fin can fetch up to $50,000.
“We understand the community’s desire to promote responsible and sustainable marine sourcing practices, and this remains important to Air China Cargo’s overall sustainable development goals,” a statement from the carrier said, reported New York’s Air Cargo World.
Last year, budget carrier HK Express became the first Hong Kong to implement a ban, followed in recent months by Cathay Pacific and Dragonair.
36 airline companies and 17 global container shipping lines have joined the effort to ban the cargo containing shark fins around the world. It is reported that according to statistics, from 2011 to 2014, the import of shark fins by China decreased by 82%, with the wholesale price of one kilogram reduced from between USD 270-300 in 2011 to around USD 90-150 in 2014.