WWF-Indonesia Commends Garuda Indonesia for Shark Fin EmbargoJakarta – WWF-Indonesia commends Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, for announcing a blanket embargo on transporting any shark fins. The policy, which came into effect as of October 8th, 2013, adds Garuda Indonesia to the growing roster of international airlines that have adopted similar measures to help preserve the world’s endangered shark populations. Other airlines include Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Fiji Airways and Korean Air.
“WWF-Indonesia commends this move by Garuda Indonesia. Their policy to cease transporting shark fin products is a positive step that should generate further momentum in the shark conservation movement”, said Nazir Foead, Conservation Director for WWF-Indonesia. Continued Nazir, “Their commitment to conserving the world’s dwindling shark numbers will emphasize to all companies who are involved in or who facilitate the shark trade --- such as other airlines, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets --- that they have a responsibility to make a difference.”
“This policy represents Garuda Indonesia’s commitment to support WWF Indonesia’s ` Save Our Sharks’ anti-shark consumption campaign,” explained Emirsyah Satar, President Director and CEO of Garuda Indonesia.
The WWF-Indonesia campaign, which has gone viral online through the hashtag ` #SOSharks ’, tapped into deeply-held public sentiment around the issue of shark conservation and led to over ten thousands of Indonesians signing a petition for restaurants, hotels, retailers and online stores to stop the consumption and sale of shark products. The campaign, which has run since May 2013, also called for an end to the glamorization of shark fin consumption in the media. Over 23 high profile public figures – including chefs, health experts, musicians, actors and movie producers, have thrown their support behind the campaign.
The commitment by Garuda Indonesia is a major step forward to reducing the global market for shark products; previously Garuda Indonesia aircraft transported 36 tons of shark fin products per year. The move follows on a 2012 decision by Garuda Indonesia to no longer accept live mammals – such as dolphins, tigers, or domestic pet mammals – as checked baggage (except for official service animal).
There is a growing movement across Indonesia to conserve shark populations, particularly since the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) identified Indonesia as the world’s number one shark catching country. The Indonesian government, represented by the Ministry of Marine and Fisheries, has partnered with other organizations including WWF to plan for a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for shark conservation management in Indonesia. Moreover, in June this year the Vice Governor of DKI Jakarta Provincial Government, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, announced the preparation of a Governor’s decree that will call for restaurants across Jakarta to strike shark fin products off their menus.
The world’s trade in shark products is under increasing scrutiny as shark populations continue to decline. Sharks are slow to reproduce, yet each year over one million tons of shark products are sold globally. The anti-consumption message has won strong support around the globe; recently the government of China announced it will cease serving shark fin at official ceremonies, and Australia has banned shark finning.
For more info, please kindly contact:
Dewi Satriani, Communication Manager of Marine and Marine Species Program, WWF-Indonesia
Email: email@example.com, Mobile: +62811910970