PRESS RELEASE: HK Express Goes Shark Free With New Cargo Policy Commitment

Hong Kong Low-fare Airline

HK Express Goes Shark Free

With New Cargo Policy Commitment


The shark products restriction from HK Express will prohibit large consignments of shark fin being shipped as cargo. As an airline with bold expansion plans to absorb demand from over 60 million potential customers in China’s growing Pearl River Delta region that includes Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and beyond, the HK Express’ #sharkfree commitment is of great significance. It will play a major role in restoring the health of the world’s oceans which have in recent years seen a dramatic collapse in shark populations by as much as 90%.

HK Express cares about the Guests as well as the environment.” Andrew Cowen, Director and CEO of HK Express said. “As Hong Kong’s low-fare airline, we believe it is vital for us to contribute to a more sustainable future for sharks and help restore the marine ecosystems.

Recently released data from the Hong Kong government Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) reveal that imports of shark fin into Hong Kong dropped by 42% between 2010 and 2015.  Data from C&SD show that the total annual volume of shark fin imported into Hong Kong dropped from 9,852 tonnes in 2010 to 5,717 tonnes in 2015. In addition, the period between 2013 and 2015 saw a 43% drop in imports of fins carried by air.

Alex Hofford, Wildlife Campaigner, WildAid said “WildAid and other organizations have been working for years to reduce imports of shark fin. HK Express commitment to flying #sharkfree on cargo flights and these latest government figures show that our efforts are paying off. We are delighted that our campaign to persuade airlines not to transport shark fins into Hong Kong, which began in 2013 and has garnered “No Shark Fin” pledges from around 35 airlines, has resulted in such a significant drop in air freighted shark fin imports.

Joan Chan, Campaigns Director, Hong Kong Shark Foundation, added, “We are delighted to see HK Express join an alliance of more caring and progressive airlines. Shark fin is an unnecessary and outdated tradition. Time is running out fast for our oceans and the sharks who live in them, and so the positive environmental stewardship shown by HK Express will be greatly appreciated by the marine conservation world.

In a sea change in attitudes towards protecting marine endangered species, sixteen of the Top twenty  global container shipping lines have in recent months announced their shark free cargo shipment policies. These include; Maersk, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, Hamburg Süd, Hanjin Shipping, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), OOCL, APL, Yang Ming, NYK Line, UASC, HMM, “K” Line, PIL (Pacific International Line), ZIM, Wan Hai Lines.

Additionally, 35 airlines now known to fly #sharkfree; HK Express, British Airways, Iberia, Kenya Airways, American Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Virgin, Jet Airways, COPA, Air France, Swiss, Thai Airways, Cebu Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Emirates, Eva Air, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, KLM, FinnAir, Lufthansa, Lan Chile / LATAM Airlines Group & Aeroméxico.

Hong Kong Shark Foundation and WildAid applaud HK Express for their cruelty-free commitment to the protection of endangered species and global biodiversity.

About WildAid

WildAid’s mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection. WildAid is the only organization focused on reducing the demand for these products, with the strong and simple message: ‘When The Buying Stops, The Killing Can Too!’ WildAid’s campaigns focus on reducing the human threat to endangered species. These animals have existed on our planet for millions of years and usually sit at the top of their food chains with no natural predators – except humans. People are the problem – but people are also the solution.


About Hong Kong Shark Foundation

Hong Kong Shark Foundation (HKSF) is a registered charity dedicated exclusively to shark conservation. As apex predators, sharks are a crucial part of the marine food chain. The demand for shark products has contributed to the rapid decline of many species, with several already nearing extinction. Removing sharks from our oceans will threaten the delicate balance of ecosystems that are valuable sources of food and key elements in regulating our climate. Every year, over 100 million sharks are caught worldwide for shark fins and other products, with over 50% of the world’s shark fin being traded through Hong Kong alone. HKSF believes this a rare opportunity for one city to make a significant impact on a global scale. Please act now to help reduce the consumption of shark products in Hong Kong and save the world’s sharks.


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