Shark Fins Transported Despite Bans

Major shipping lines, airlines and NGO’s met with HK Customs and Excise Department and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) last Friday on the investigation findings. Around 92% of shark fins entering HK arrive via sea freight and 8% arrive via air cargo.

Sea Shepherd Global began investigation after seeing evidence of large shipments of shark fins arriving in HK’s Sheung Wan district. Shark fin traders fraudulently mis-declaring and mis-labeling shark fin under generic categories “seafood”, “dried seafood”, "dried goods" or “dried marine products” to avoid detection.

Sea Shepherd Global and WildAid are calling for HK's trade documentation filing requirement switched from post-shipment to pre-shipment. Such a system in US is an effective counter-terrorism measure. Spain operates more stringent shipping procedures to give customs the edge over transnational wildlife crime syndicates. Some sharks populations have dropped by more than 90%, with some species, such as the hammerhead shark, facing extinction.