As an animal lover I was pleased to hear that as of this month, Starwood Hotels & Resorts is no longer purchasing shark fin as an ingredient for any foods or beverages. By the end of 2014, Starwood will have eliminated shark fin from all of their 1,200 properties and 1,300 restaurants worldwide. In light of the waning population of sharks worldwide and the cruelty surrounding shark fin procurement this is great news, and Starwood is the first global hotel operator to ban the ingredient across their entire portfolio.

Frits van Paasschen, the CEO and President of Starwood said, “At Starwood, we believe economic growth and the well-being of society are inextricably tied to the health of the environment, including the health of the world’s oceans and its inhabitants. Our worldwide ban on shark fin represents an important, environmentally responsible step to aid in the collective goal of marine preservation. As a company with a collection of hotels that span the globe, Starwood has a unique opportunity to influence travelers and guests worldwide, and to underline the importance of good stewardship of our planet.”

Well said, Mr. Paasschen. I hope that this will spark a trend in the industry.

As part of Starwood’s “Eat Local, Think Global” campaign, they have also eliminated whale and sea turtle from all their menus worldwide.