Over the past few years, a growing number of shipping companies and airlines have stepped up to save sharks in one simple yet powerful way: banning shark fin shipments. Multi billion-dollar industry leaders including UPS, Cosco and American Airlines have all clarified their cargo policies to prohibit such shipments.
Now, global advocates are turning their attention to one powerful hold-out: FedEx. Over the weekend, WildAid and our campaign Shark Savers teamed up with Oceanic Preservation Society to support a series of protests at FedEx locations from Hong Kong to Boston urging the company to adopt a fin-free policy.
Most shark fins are of a similar size, color and shape, and to the untrained eye, many shark fins from both legal and protected species look very similar, if not identical. As such, visual species identification conducted by staff at FedEx's thousands of stations around the world cannot alone be relied upon to accurately differentiate them. The only way to accurately determine the species of a shark fin is through time-consuming and expensive DNA analysis — clearly an impractical solution.
Only eight shark species are regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and five of these only since September 2014, yet the illegal trade in these species is rife.
FedEx rival UPS appears to have recognized this fact in 2015: The discovery of endangered hammerhead shark fins smuggled inside large UPS consignments from Costa Rica to Hong Kong was soon followed a company policy announcement banning all shark fin shipments.
Click here to read more on the upcoming CITES Conference of Parties beginning later this week in South Africa (Via Laurel Neme, National Geographic). And ad your name to the online petition calling on FedEx to help end this brutal trade (click on the image to the right).