Two global shipping firms that have vowed not to transport shark fin products inadvertently moved a 40-foot container of the controversial delicacy from Nicaragua to Hong Kong this year, both companies told Reuters.
The shipment highlights the challenges global industry faces in monitoring the trade that results in the killing of more than 70 million sharks a year, and has pushed more than a quarter of species into extinction according to World Wildlife Fund.
The fins were first loaded onto a vessel called Laura, which is operated by Ocean Network Express (ONE), in Nicaragua in March and then transhipped in Manzanillo, Mexico, onto Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) vessel Natasha to Hong Kong, according to cargo records seen by Reuters and confirmed by the firms.
The shipment arrived in Hong Kong in April and was first flagged to Reuters by conservation group OceansAsia, which saw bags of shark fin being unloaded on a road in the city’s industrial western district.
Representatives of both ONE and MSC told Reuters the shipment took place but said the contents had not been declared as shark fin.