Us Wildlife Inspectors seized approximately 1,400 pounds of dried shark fins estimated to be worth around $1 million dollars.
18 falsely declared boxes were recognized at the Port of Miami. Authorities believe the shark fins were shipped from South American and headed to Asia.
There’s a terribly cruel and illegal practice where hunters de-fin sharks before throwing them back into the ocean. The sharks die slowly and painfully, unable to survive after being de-finned. Many partake in the practice, regardless of the laws against it, because shark fins bring in good money due to shark fin soup being a Chinese delicacy.
Further, possessing shark fins is not actually illegal. The illegal part is cutting their fins off and throwing them back to die. Therefore, a buyer can purchase shark fins (primarily on the black market) virtually risk-free.
On January 24th, 2020 the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked with Customs and Border Protection to confiscate the shark fins, estimated to be worth between $700,000 (£536,000) and $1 million (£770,000) on the black market.
Charter captain Smith said to CBS Miami:
“It is very big money stuff. It is very harmful to the ecology.
This is one of the most heinous crimes in nature that we see. Whether it is rhino horns, elephant tusks, shark fin soup, they seem to be, if you convince ’em it’s hard to get, they want it all that much more.”
As of now, no criminal charges have been announced. However, the investigation is ongoing.
President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Sara Amundson, told CBS News:
“The seizure in Miami of 1,400 pounds of shark fins being shipped from Latin America to Asia speaks to the worldwide crisis facing sharks.
Up to 73 million of these majestic animals are butchered each year for their fins. The United States plays a key role as an international transit hub for shark fins.
It is time for the U.S. Senate to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act. Sharks are worth more alive than in a bowl of soup.”
You can join the movement and take the #nosharkfin pledge by clicking here. And, share this on Facebook to help spread awareness of the issue.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, some shark populations are declining as much as 90% or more. If the demand for shark fin soup continues, our world is facing the bleak reality of sharkless oceans.