HK's Cathay Pacific bans shark fins as air cargo

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific says it will stop carrying shark fins as cargo, bowing to pressure from groups concerned about cruelty and possible extinctions as China's appetite for the delicacy rises.

The airline said in a statement that it has "decided to stop shipping unsustainably sourced sharks and shark-related products."

Shark's fin soup has long been a staple of high-class Chinese banquets and its consumption is becoming more commonplace as incomes in China rise.

Cathay is the biggest airline in the southern Chinese city of Hong Kong, which is estimated to account for about half of the global trade in shark fins. The company is also one of the world's biggest cargo airlines.

The airline's decision comes after it received a letter in July from environmental and humane groups.