Loopholes Increase Risks of Shark Fin Carriage WWF releases first guidelines to facilitate shark fin-free shipments

September 4, 2017

...Shark fin imports encountered a tremendous decrease in 2013 compared with 2012, but since then, the import volume remained at around 5,600 tonnes. As of June 2017, 15 leading shipping companies representing 79.5 per cent of the container shipping indus- try have banned shark fin shipments. In addition, at least 30 airlines have established their No Shark Fin Carriage policies. However while shipping companies remain com- mitted to helping conserve the world’s oceans, an analysis of the trade data indicates that there are challenges in implementation. 

The single largest challenge we have identified is for shipping companies to properly identify suspected shark fin shipments. Almost all the cargo on container ships are “shippers load, count and seal”. The shipping agreement between shippers / consignees with shipping companies are based on trust. But are the consignees completely trustworthy? Currently, some consignees simply declare shark fin cargo as ‘frozen seafood’ and continue to ship shark fin regardless of whether the shipping company has a No Shark Fin Carriage policy. This is not an uncommon practice. Such mis-declaration is a significant challenge for shipping companies to implement their policies. In this regard, shipping companies need to identify a high-risk list of consignees and points of origin. Shipping companies can be more alert when receiving shipment request from the high- risk list. This could help the companies to avoid unintentional shark fin shipments...

 

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