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Cathay Pacific bans transport of shark fins

One of the world's biggest airlines, Cathay Pacific, has confirmed it has introduced an immediate ban on transporting shark fins on all its planes. The move came after passionate lobbying from conservationists.

Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific confirmed Thursday it would ban carrying shark fins on its flights with immediate effect,

marking a victory for conservationists.

The southern Chinese city is one of the world's biggest markets for shark fin, which is viewed by many Asians as a delicacy and is often served as a soup at expensive Chinese banquets.

Other airlines, including Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines, have also banned the item in recent years. "We're happy to agree to ban the carriage," Cathay Pacific said in a statement, adding that the measure would apply to both cargo and passenger flights.

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Marine conservationists praised the carrier for its decision, demanding that more Hong Kong businesses follow the lead.

Hong Kong's government said back in 2013 it would stop serving shark fin at official functions as "a good example."

Environmental pressure group WWF said 457 tons of shark products were imported into Hong Kong by air last year alone. More than 70 million sharks are killed every year, according to the group. While huge quantities are exported to Hong Kong, most of the shark fins are sent on to mainland China.

hg/jd (dpa, AFP)

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