A destroyed boat with the mutilated corpses of 114 protected sharks
They literally jumped on the sharks.
Authorities were horrified after discovering the mutilated corpses of 114 protected sharks on a fishing boat off the coast of Colombia.
« During the inspection, species that appeared to be sharks were found, » Juan David Rendón, commander of the Pacific Coast Guard Group, told Jam Press of the jaw-dropping find, which occurred on November 27 on a fishing boat « Los Pescadores ». .
The commercial trawler is said to have disembarked from Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, and was arriving at the port of Bahía Solano, Chocó department, when it was stopped by the coast guard for a routine inspection.
But what they found was anything but typical: While inspecting the ship’s refrigerated quarters, officials discovered the butchered corpses of what appeared to be sharks, whereupon they « decided to escort the ship to Bahía Solano to carry out a detailed verification, » Commander Rendón said. .
A subsequent examination at the dock revealed a bag containing 89 fins and 114 mutilated shark specimens, which collectively weighed one metric ton.
Grisly photos show the many dismembered predator torsos laid out on a pier like something out of an illicit tuna auction.
Authorities have since arrested the crew members and seized the vessel while an investigation into the shark bodies is ongoing.
It’s likely the smuggled loot was harvested to satisfy demand for shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy that can fetch up to $200 a bowl in Hong Kong. This practice is harmful because fishermen usually cut off the fins of fish and then throw them back into the sea, where they have little chance of survival.
« There is a huge illegal wildlife trade in the world that we must control, » said Susana Muhamad, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, who thanked the Coast Guard for apprehending the culprits. .
Currently, anyone found guilty of illegal shark harvesting can be slapped with a hefty fine and sentenced to between 48 and 108 months in prison.
Unfortunately, the harsh penalties don’t seem to be deterring shark fishermen: Colombian authorities have seized a total of 7.4 tonnes of illegally caught product this year alone. And, despite a global ban on this appalling practice, 100 million sharks are still slaughtered around the world every year to fuel the fin trade.
In a bust closer to home in April, authorities discovered nearly 400 illegal shark fins at a Texas seafood restaurant.