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Chinese e-commerce giant bans online trade of endangered tuna

(People's Daily Online)    16:58, June 13, 2017

Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com announced on June 12 that it will remove all the bluefin tuna sold on its shopping platform, after being criticized by animal protection organizations.

“The bluefin tunas we sold were all artificially bred. Our supplier, Beston Global Food Company, has the largest tuna breeding center in Australia, which is a legal industry supported by the Australian government. We would never sell wild animals illegally. But JD.com should have higher requirements for itself when it comes to environmental protection and sustainable development, thus the company decided to withdraw all the bluefin tunas sold on our platform,” read an official statement from JD.com.

JD.com introduced the endangered fish on its online shopping platform on June 9, stressing that the fish is high-end product that possesses rich nutritional value and boasts great flavor. The subsequent withdrawal was welcomed by NGO groups and experts, who believe that the decline of bluefin populations may lead to an imbalanced marine environment.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, bluefins are the largest tuna, and can live up to 40 years. There are currently three living varieties of the fish: Pacific and Southern tunas are labeled respectively as vulnerable and critically endangered, while Atlantic tunas are the most endangered among the three.

According to China Green Express, an environmental protection NGO, 97 percent of captured bluefin tunas are immature, which means the endangered fish cannot functionally breed. As bluefin is a highly sought-after delicacy for sushi and sashimi in Asia, countries including Japan and Australia have excessively and sometimes illegally hunted the fish, leading to the decline of their population. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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