It is gratifying to see that they finally came around - just in time for The Year of the Shark.
See all our posts regarding Alibaba.com.
Below is the offical press release from the Shark Group.
Congratulations to all those involved, in particular to Professor Brian W. Darvell for bringing the controversy to the attention of Alibaba's top management - and finally persuading them to stop offering their platform as a virtual shark fin exchange.
We should also applaud Alibaba for demonstrating corporate responsibility and a firm ethical position in an issue of transcendental relevance.
Press Release - The Shark Group
In Honour of The Year of the Shark, Alibaba Ends its Trade in Shark Fin
December 21, 2008
The International Year of the Shark gets off to a good start on January 1, 2009, as on-line trading giant, Alibaba, ceases its trade in shark fins.
The company has been in negotiations regarding the issue for the past year, since shark advocate Brian W. Darvell brought the problem to their attention.
Urging Alibaba to cease the trade, which poses a major threat to the survival of the targeted shark species, has been one of the prime projects of The Shark Group.
As a result of the information they provided, and the numbers of organizations concerned by the company's involvement in the shark fin trade, Alibaba made the group-wide decision to disallow shark fins, and shark fin products, on any of their trading sites.
They have encouraged their users to report incidences of shark fin trading, saying that perpetrators would be "suitably punished."
The company's decision gives a strong message to others that ethical concerns prohibit the participation in the wasteful practice of shark finning, which is one of the most dangerous threats to sharks at this time.
"I have been assured by the company that the intention is that all group websites will be shark fin-free on January 1st, 2009. Essentially, the decision that was made for Taobao applies to the whole of the company," Darvell explained.
While the development brings a ray of hope for shark conservation, The Shark Group remains concerned that the trade could resurface in other forms, and that demand for shark fin soup is still high."
For further information, please contact: Ila France Porcher, firstname.lastname@example.org