Hong Kong green group targets shippers in fight against shark fin

A new WWF report says 16 of the world’s top 20 shipping lines have banned shipments of shark fin. The shippers – which include giants such as OOCL, Maersk, Hyundai and MOL – account for 60 per cent of the global industry.

WWF-Hong Kong said it was important for shipping companies to understand the different types of legal, environmental and reputational risks of carrying shark fin, especially if the stock was not legally sourced. Around 90 per cent of the shark fin trade is seaborne.

Scientists say one in four shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction. Hong Kong is a major transshipment point and source of demand. In January, a Shark Foundation study found 98 per cent of 375 restaurants surveyed still served shark fin, undermining a common belief that local consumption was declining.

Earlier this year, OOCL said it would no longer accept cargo bookings for whale, shark and dolphin as part of its “commitment to sustainability” and industry best practices.

Shark Fin Trade Merchants Association said most air carriers were already refusing to carry the product and banning carriage.