16 May 2013

Hong Kong shark protectors target Air Pacific

5:01 am on 16 May 2013

Environmental groups in Hong Kong say Air Pacific is feeding the unethical trade in sharks fin by transporting sharks fin to the territory and they have called on the airline to stop.

The groups say their strong suspicions are based partly on Air Pacific's substantial increase in cargo to Hong Kong over the last few years and anecdotal evidence from pilots.

They say Hong Kong Government data shows more than one thousand tonnes of shark fin were imported into Hong Kong in 2012 and more than 14 percent of that was by air.

Alex Hofford of the Hong Kong Shark Foundation says a Hong Kong government official gave a speech welcoming Air Pacific's new aircraft, saying close aviation links meant Hong Kong people were able to enjoy various seafood products from the region.

"Well we know that it says fishery products and it sure as hell isn't pineapples or furniture that they're bringing to Hong Kong and we've got it on good evidence from pilots that I know that sharks fin is being carried on Air Pacific."

Alex Hofford says the groups were successful last year in stopping Cathay Pacific from transporting sharks fin.

Air Pacific has told the environmental groups it is investigating.