Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Airline Fin Bans - remarkable Developments!

But first of all, huge congratulations!

Alex, Gary et al have booked more victories.
AeroMexico is banning Shark fins indefinitely as per the picture above - and Eva Air is doing so as of yesterday citing CITES - which is in itself interesting as CITES mandates nothing of the kind.
We'll take that anytime - and bravo guys and gals!

And Cathay?
Now this one is really interesting.
Like Airlines Fiji, Cathay has chosen the route of only allowing fins from sustainable sources - and has inevitably run into difficulties in doing so. So did Air New Zealand when first announcing the measure, and they have subsequently decided to avoid complicating their lives and opted for a full ban.

Not so Cathay.
They have delayed the implementation and are currently consulting with a team of experts about the best way forward. Duffy, Simpfendorfer and Sant are as good as it gets, and I just can't wait what they will come up with. My hope is that we will get a set of simple and practicable guidelines that will allow us to ascertain whether a Shark fishery is sustainable (beware of shifting baselines - maintaining the severely depleted status quo is not good enough!) and finally drive the conversation away from outright prohibition towards sustainability (do also read the links!) like it ought to happen in every fishery, for Sharks and otherwise.
That is the way forward and I can only applaud it

And if so, it may also finally put a lid on the pointless debates
Take those two MSC-certified fisheries - they are maybe not perfect-perfect but they are light years ahead of the current free-for-all that is happening elsewhere! And of course some Shark fisheries can be managed sustainably - and of course finning and sustainability are mutually exclusive!

The bitch will be tackling the issue of bycatch.
It is not a proper Shark fishery where one could assess the management.
Instead, it is the byproduct of a fishery targeting other species (and sometimes being certified as sustainable by the very same MSC!) - and because it is being declared as unwanted, inevitable and thus inherently unmanageable, it is the biggest glaring loophole accounting for a very large portion of the 97-odd million Sharks that are being killed each year. 
As an example, with Fiji not disposing of any officially declared Shark fishery, every single one of the 130 metric tons of Shark fins that are being exported out of Fiji every year is tacitly assumed to have been mere bycatch and to not have been obtained by illegal finning - and I spare you the links proving otherwise!

How about this?
Let the trade who wants to ship their fins conclusively prove, either by third party certification or by irrefutable evidence. that they originate from sustainably managed fisheries, and that they have been obtained by legal means!
And I they can't, don't accept the cargo!

Anyway, great stuff - to be continued no doubt!

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