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An incredible victory for sharks! China Southern Airlines has announced they are banning the shipment of shark fins on their airplanes. China Southern is the country’s largest airline carrier and is stationed in Guangzhou, the center of the shark fin trade and the city most notorious for the highly controversial “shark fin soup.” This ban is hoped to send a clear message to shark fin traders that their practice is fading out of favor with the rest of society.

In a letter to Wild Aid, vice president of China Southern, Han Wensheng, stated the airline would “shoulder its social responsibility” and “actively participate in the cause of wild animal and plants conservation… to jointly promote conservation culture and the sustainable development of [the] human community with the general public.”

The shark fin trade is undeniably cruel and unsustainable.  In 2013, research showed anywhere between 100-273 million sharks were killed annually, mostly illegally, and largely because of the demand for shark fin soup. A dish considered a delicacy in several Asian countries, a single bowl of shark fin soup can cost up to $100. It is this greed that is causing the careless overfishing of these animals.

However, thanks to the loud public disapproval of the practice and half of the world’s airlines banning the shipment of shark fins, Wild Aid estimates that shark fin consumption is down by as much as 80 percent. This is great news, and we hope the rest of the world’s airlines take a cue from China Southern Airlines and ban the shipment of shark fins as well.

Image Source: wildestanimal/Shutterstock

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