Korean Air bans shark fins on its cargo flights


HONG KONG – Korean Air has announced its recent policy to suspend the carriage of shark fins on its cargo flights in a bid to protect sharks, one of the globally endangered marine species.

Previously, Korean Air carried shark fins only under the condition that a valid CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) permit was fully obtained by the customer from the related national management authority.

However, recently there has been a series of global movements calling to ban the carriage of shark fins including the recent conference of CITES held in Thailand which brought five shark species under CITES controls by declaring them as threatened species for protection, as well as the New York State Assembly’s agreement to ban the trade of shark fins. In view of these movements and in order to support the global call of protecting endangered shark species, Korean Air has recently reviewed its policy to stop the carriage of shark fins.

As shark fins are one of the rare items that have been traded for high prices in global markets (1kg=approx. USD 800), shark fishery managers have been “finning” sharks, the practice of slicing off sharks’ fins and leaving them back to the sea. According to some researches, over 73 million of sharks are finned around the world every year.

Korean Air will officially submit its regulation of banning the carriage of shark and related products to LAR (Live Animal Regulations) through IATA (International Air Transport Association) and will continue to participate in various movements to protect global ecosystem.