Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Air New Zealand bans shark fins

Forest & Bird and Greenpeace have congratulated Air New Zealand on its decision to stop freighting shark fins

June 2013. Air New Zealand has banned the carriage of shark fins on its flights. New Zealand has restrictions on shark fins, and many parties wanted a complete ban, but the ruling party disagreed.

Katrina Subedar, of New Zealand's Forest & Bird Marine conservation organisation, said "Our national airline, which trades on New Zealand's clean green reputation, clearly sees that transporting shark fins doesn't fit with its environmental values, and is therefore a major risk to its brand,".

"But just as the trade is a threat to Air New Zealand, it's also a threat to New Zealand. It's high time that the government acted to protect our green-marketing edge, and put an end to this disgustingly wasteful practise. Shark finning is hugely wasteful, and is putting the very survival of several shark species at risk," Katrina Subedar says.

New Zealand Shark Alliance
Under New Zealand law, it is legal to catch a shark, kill it, cut off its fins, and dump its unused body overboard. Both Greenpeace and Forest & Bird are members of the New Zealand Shark Alliance, which is calling for a ban on shark finning, by requiring that sharks be released alive or brought to shore with their fins naturally attached.

"Many Pacific countries are way ahead of our government on this. For example, Palau created the world's first large-scale shark sanctuary in 2009," says Greenpeace New Zealand's Karli Thomas.

Representatives from seven of the eight political parties in Parliament signed a pledge in November last year committing their support for a law change to ban shark finning in New Zealand. However, the National Party refused to sign the pledge.

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