Ecosystem Thought? Jet Airways bans transport of shark fins

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Jet Airways bans transport of shark fins
New Delhi, Nov 6: Major carrier Jet Airways said that it has instituted a policy against the shipment of shark fins, thereby joining a growing number of major international passenger carriers which are committed to protecting the declining shark populations and marine ecosystems.

In a statement responding to the appeal from Humane Society International (HSI) India, Jet Airways said: "After concluding a comprehensive and careful review including concerns related to shark finning globally, Jet Airways Cargo implemented a ban on the carriage of shark fin. This policy was made effective."

"Owing to the difficulty in identifying the species from the fins alone and due to existing loopholes in the listing of wildlife products as per customs regulations, traders have so far been carrying out this trade without much interference," said N.G. Jayasimha, managing director for HSI India.

"This ban by Jet Airways shall act as an effective deterrent to the trade. Hence, we hope that Jet Airways' policy decision shall set a golden example for all other airlines to emulate."

By instituting this ban against the carriage of shark fins, Jet Airways has joined the growing league of environmentally conscious airlines such as Emirates, Philippines Airlines, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Qantas and Air New Zealand, all of whom have made a public commitment to stop carrying shark fins.

In June 2014, Etihad Airways, which holds a 24 percent minority stake in Jet Airways, had also announced its decision to ban shark as well as live primate shipment.

Research has repeatedly pointed to the fact that India is the world's second largest shark catching nation and one of the world's largest exporters of shark fins.

Reports have further revealed that the shark fin trade is one of the leading contributors to the decimation of shark populations globally.

Trade reports and undercover investigations have revealed that shark fins are most commonly transported from India to places like Hong Kong, Dubai and China as cargo on airlines.

Sharks as top predators are important to the survival and maintenance of healthy marine ecosystems.

IANS

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