Hilton Worldwide announced last week that it will cease serving shark fin and stop accepting new orders for shark fin dishes by 1st April 2014. The ban covers all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its 96 owned and managed properties across Asia Pacific.
In December 2012, the company first removed shark fin from menus across all restaurants and food and beverage (F&B) facilities operated by its managed properties in China and Southeast Asia, and only serving it on request. This action helped pave the way for a ban, which first took effect in Southeast Asia on 1st September 2013 and then in Greater China on the 1st February 2014.
Unfortunately however, banquet bookings made in each region prior to the respective ban dates will still be honoured.
The final step of the ban takes effect in Japan on 1st April 2014, when shark fin dishes will no longer be served in restaurants and F&B facilities operated by Hilton Worldwide’s owned and managed properties. In Japan, no banquet orders for shark fin dishes have been accepted since 1st December 2013 (though again, unfortunately banquet orders made prior to 1st December 2013 will still be honoured).
This 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.
“We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations,” said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
As a leading global hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide encourages its hotels to increase the use of sustainable products and services where feasible, and proactively examine opportunities to improve the company’s sustainability performance across its supply chains. This commitment 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, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide’s measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment,” said Elaine Tan, CEO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -Singapore.
The ban on shark fin previews the company’s on-going efforts to develop a Sustainable Sourcing Policy, including sustainable seafood, details of which will be released at a later date.
So, good news that Hilton Worldwide will no longer be taking orders for shark fin dishes, but disappointing to hear that they’re honouring existing orders. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
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