Another protest took place in Hong Kong this week. 100 people who make their living from the sharks fin trade gathered outside of Cathay Pacific offices to protest Cathay’s decision to stop providing cargo services for sharks fin.
Chairwoman Choy Mei-kuen said the ban amounted to a “smear campaign” that would lead Hongkongers to believe the shark fin business was “worse than committing a crime like drug trafficking”.
More Hongkongers would stop eating shark’s fin as a result, she said.
As if that would be a bad thing.
Except that Cathay didn’t do that. They said they will continue to transport sharks fin as long as those who wish to do so can provide proof that the fins were gathered in a sustainable manner.
Choy said: “We are not stealing or robbing anyone to make money. The Hong Kong government has not banned the import and export of shark fin. This business is not illegal. How can Cathay Pacific decide on a ban without even consulting us?”
Why should Cathay consult them?
She noted merchants can still use of other airlines’ cargo services, as well as shipping services, and said: “In fact, not many merchants use Cathay Pacific’s cargo services. That is why we think it has banned shark fin just to put itself on a moral high ground and tell the public how it is devoted to sustainability.”
So apparently this nimrod accepts that when one acts in a sustainable fashion one achieves the moral high ground and that she and the members of her association are unable to attain that ground themselves via their normal method of operations. But she wants that publicity too – otherwise why bother to stage a protest if “not many merchants” rely on Cathay? Can you spell “free publicity”?
Choy’s view of Cathay’s policy stands in stark contrast to that of the 40 environmental groups who signed a petition calling for the ban. They estimated Cathay carries up to half of all shark fins imported to Hong Kong by air.
A Cathay Pacific spokeswoman said she did not have a figure on the volume of shark fins the airline carries.
But she added: ”There is very compelling scientific evidence to support [our stance] that this is the right thing to do for a company committed to sustainability.”
The SCMP says that “green groups” estimate that Cathay has been shipping up to 650 tons of shark fins per year.