Ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to Hong Kong

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Nearly a ton of shark fins from endangered species were smuggled in a Singapore Airlines shipment, it has been revealed.

More than 900 kilograms of assorted fins – including some from the giant placid whale shark – arrived in Hong Kong earlier in May labelled as “dry seafood”.

They were smuggled despite a ban by the carrier and were discovered by US environmental group Sea Shepherd.

Considered a delicacy in Hong Kong, shark fins are readily available in seafood stores and restaurants, but are banned by some airlines and food outlets, and those from endangered species must be accompanied by a permit.

The bags of shark fin were labelled as 'dry seafood' ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to hong kong Ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to Hong Kong skynews bags of shark fin shark fin 4324728
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The bags of shark fin were labelled as ‘dry seafood’
Shark fins are considered a delicacy in China and are consumed as a jelly-like soup ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to hong kong Ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to Hong Kong skynews shark fins shark fin 4324750
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Shark fins are considered a delicacy in China and are consumed in a jelly-like soup

It is typically consumed in a shredded jelly-like soup and is believed to have nutritional benefits.

More than 70 million sharks are killed every year – according to the World Wildlife Fund – but consumption of shark fin soup in Hong Kong is waning due to activism against the trade.

Fins from endangered whale sharks were hidden among legal fins to avoid detection, Sea Shepherd said.

Shark fins on display inside a dried seafood store in Hong Kong in 2013 ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to hong kong Ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to Hong Kong skynews shark fin shark fin hong kong 4324731
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Shark fins on display inside a dried seafood store in Hong Kong in 2013
Nearly a tonne of shark fins were smuggled to Hong Kong ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to hong kong Ton of endangered shark fins smuggled on plane to Hong Kong skynews shark fins shark fin 4324749
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Nearly a ton of shark fins were smuggled to Hong Kong

They came from Colombo in Sri Lanka via Singapore.

“Singapore Airlines are yet another victim of these shark fin smugglers, who deceived the airline by declaring the shipment as ‘dried seafood’ to skirt the airline’s internal booking checks,” said Gary Stokes, Asia director for Sea Shepherd Global.

Singapore Airlines, which banned shark fin cargo in 2014, said it had “sent out a reminder to all our stations” to conduct sampling checks on shipments labelled “dried seafood”.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s biggest shark fin trading hubs.

Huge quantities of shark fin are exported to Hong King every year and most are sent on to mainland China.



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