Technology

Five Tonne Shark Fin Shipment From Dubai Found in Hong Kong

Philippine Airlines smuggles extinction

[Please email Philippine Airlines and tell them how you feel about them smuggling shark fin! They are on: ramon_ang@pal.com.ph, corpcomms@pal.com.ph, palholdingsinc@gmail.com, wecare@pal.com.ph, rey_garcia@pal.com.ph, hkgsspr@biznetvigator.com,hkgtipr@pal.com.ph, pr_corporate@pal.com.ph] http://youtu.be/vrimEdEWa4g Dear Members of the Media, Please find below our letter with photos to the Philippine Airlines senior management team after the discovery in Hong Kong yesterday of what we believe to be a 6.8 tonnes illegal shipment of Middle Eastern shark fin of unproven origin. Kind regards, Alex Hofford Director, WildLifeRisk Hong Kong. Dear Sir, Our organisation WildLifeRisk, together with Dr Alex Antoniou Ph.D., a marine scientist with ocean advocacy group Fins Attached, discovered in Hong Kong today what we believe to be an illegal shipment of 136 bags of dried shark fins, freshly arrived from Dubai on Philippine Airlines. We estimate the total shipment to be a staggering 6.8 tonnes. The name of the Dubai-based shipping agent involved is International Maritime and Aviation LLC (IMA) (http://www.imadxb.com/en/about-us/) We would like to bring to your attention that the shipping of illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fish, shark and shark products is a serious breach of international law, as well as IATA guidelines (LAR 3.2 Specific Airline Variations). Consequently we have informed the Interpol Environmental Crimes Unit of your airline's actions, and are awaiting their follow up. In the meantime, and as a precautionary measure, we are politely calling on your airline to stop with immediate effect the shipment of shark and shark-related products to Hong Kong, and to publicize this action with a press release in the 'News & Events' section of your Philippine Airlines website. (For your information this is not the first time our organisation has called upon your airline to review it's shark fin cargo policy. Please see the attached marine conservation NGO coalition letter sent to you on 16 August 2013, which still remains unanswered.)

Not all sharks are endangered. However, due to poor regulation of the fishing industry, illegally finned and fins of endangered sharks often end up in shipments. INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Program has advised that companies transporting these fins may be implicated in a crime. Until the legality and sustainability of sources of shark fin can be adequately accounted for, we recommend all companies involved in logistics to suspend transport of shark fin as a precautionary measure and responsible business practice. The unethical, immoral and illegal actions of IMA and Philippine Airlines is causing untold ecological devastation to the worlds' oceans. By wiping out the shark species, your company is potentially complicit in transnational wildlife crime. Emirates Airlines was made aware of this scenario and stopped shipping shark fin on the Dubai to Hong Kong route in June 2013 as "the right and responsible course of action."

http://www.skycargo.com/english/support/shipping-updates/index.aspx

Therefore, by Emirates Airlines' and our standards, it is 'wrong and irresponsible' that Philippine Airlines and IMA cynically pick up what we believe to be a highly sordid business shipping shark fins to Hong Kong. 6.8 tonnes of shark fin (136 bags of 50kg each) equates to possibly tens of thousands of sharks, many of which we believe to be juvenile or even baby sharks. Our NGO coalition believes this atrocious activity could be extremely damaging to the international reputation of Philippine Airlines. Photographs and video are already circulating online and they appear to have the capacity to go viral. Some media organisations have already begun to call us for a comment and are asking us for photos, and so we expect that your corporate communications department will be fielding media enquiries tomorrow and over the Easter break. It will be hard for your corporate communications team to give an adequate explanation as to why PAL is aiding and abetting a transnational wildlife crime. Once again, we kind request PAL to desist immediately from taking bookings for shark fin shipments to from Dubai to Hong Kong. Photos and video http://youtu.be/vrimEdEWa4g Should you have any questions about this issue, or if you would like our help in any way, we are always available to assist you in cleaning up this environmental mess. Wishing you a pleasant Easter. Kind regards, Alex Hofford

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