Looks like our ‘Top 6 Delicacies that you should stop eating’ list isn’t the only principled talking point around town. After Fairmont Hotels and Resorts’ initiative, Starwood Hotels has joined the green bandwagon by announcing a ban on Shark Fin in all its hotels. So come yearend, your stay at any of the luxury group’s 1,200 properties or a trip to its 1,300 establishments will come sans lashings of endangered species but with oodles of ethics.
“This is tremendously good news and a beacon of corporate leadership in ocean health,” said Peter Seligmann, CEO, Chairman and co-founder of Conservation International, a global partner of Starwood’s since 2009. And we obviously second that. After all, the world’s shark population is in severe crisis, with an estimated 100 million sharks lost each year to illegal hunting and poaching, primarily for use in traditional luxury dishes. Some shark species have suffered population declines of as much as 90 to 99 percent in recent decades.
“As apex predators, sharks serve a critical role in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems, which directly support our fisheries, economies, culture and health. Their value to human wellbeing is so much greater than the misguided worth of their severed fins. Starwood’s company-wide ban on shark fin in each and every one of their properties sends a powerful signal that businesses can be positive change agents in the effort to ensure the responsible use of our planet’s natural capital,” explained Seligmann.
The first global hotel operator to take this strong stand and commit to banning the ingredient across its entire portfolio, Starwood, in fact, first removed shark fin from its public menus in 2012. In addition, the American hotel giant has also banned whale and sea turtle, globally, from all of its menus. The exclusion of threatened seafood species from the company’s food and beverage venues is an important component of Starwood’s Sustainable Food & Beverage Policy supported by their 2012, “Eat Local, Think Global” program.