Hilton Worldwide Says “No” to Shark Finning

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Every year, tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the cruel practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still- living body back into the sea. The shark either starves to death or is eaten alive by other fish, or drowns because if they are not in constant movement, their gills cannot extract oxygen from the water. Shark fins are being taken in ever greater numbers to feed the growing demand for shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy. The indiscriminate slaughter of this valuable fish is happening at an unsustainable rate and is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Since the ‘70s, 95 per cent of the populations of several types have been slaughtered.

Now action is being taken by Hilton Worldwide. The company will cease serving shark fin and will stop accepting new orders for shark fin dishes by April 1, 2014. The ban covers all restaurants and Food and Beverage (F&B) facilities operated by the company across Asia Pacific. The brand first took steps to remove shark fin from menus across all its restaurants and F&B outlets operated by its managed properties in China and Southeast Asia in December 2012, and was only serving it on request. This action helped pave the way for a full ban, which first took effect in Southeast Asia in September last year, and then in Greater China this February.

This positive action puts the global hospitality company on track to ban shark fin in all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its portfolio of 645 owned and managed hotels globally. It has made a commitment to influence consumer demand by placing its global ban on shark fin, taking much needed action to support environmental conservation efforts worldwide. Moreover, this pledge supports the 'Living Sustainably' pillar of the company's global corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with PurposeTM.

The demand for shark fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations. Hilton Worldwide's ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide's measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a good example of how businesses with robust leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment. 

Hilton Worldwide is now another key voice speaking up for sharks, one more company saying it is not OK to fin sharks. This hotel chain joins other prominent companies in China, Hong Kong and the Far East who have banned shark fin. Together, they are making a stand.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons