New Delhi: Jet Airways has banned shipment of shark fins, joining a growing number of major international carriers committed to protecting declining shark populations and marine ecosystems.
Responding to an appeal from Humane Society International and other animal welfare and conservation groups, the airline said "Jet Airways Cargo implemented a ban on the carriage of shark fin".
"After concluding a comprehensive and careful review including concerns related to shark finning globally, Jet Airways Cargo implemented a ban on the carriage of shark fin. This policy was made effective," Jet Airways was quoted as saying in a statement issued by Humane Society International (HSI), India.
HSI, India has welcomed the Jet Airways decision.
Chemudupati Samyukta, wildlife campaign manager for HSI, India, said, "As top predators, sharks are important to the survival and maintenance of healthy marine ecosystems.
"We are thrilled that Jet Airways has taken this environmentally-responsible decision. We are certain that it shall go a long way in the ongoing efforts around the globe to protect these keystone species," it said.
Research has repeatedly pointed to the fact that India is the world's second-largest shark catching nation and one of the world's largest exporters of shark fins.
Reports have further revealed that the shark fin trade is today one of the leading contributors to the decimation of shark populations globally.
Trade reports and undercover investigations have revealed that shark fins are most commonly transported from India to places like Hong Kong, Dubai and China as cargo on airlines.
By instituting this ban against the carriage of shark fins, Jet Airways has joined the growing league of environmentally conscious airlines such as Emirates, Philippines Airlines, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Qantas and Air New Zealand, all of whom have made a public commitment to stop carrying shark fins, the release said.