HomeOutdoorsFishing Boat Busted With 114 Mutilated Corpses of Protected Shark Species

Fishing Boat Busted With 114 Mutilated Corpses of Protected Shark Species

(Photo by Alexis Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

A fishing crew off the coast of Colombia is now in high water with the law after authorities discovered the mutilated corpses of 114 protected shark species on their boat on Sunday (November 27th).

The New York Post reported that Juan David Rendón, the Commander of Colombia’s Coast Guard in the Buenaventura area, spoke about the situation. “During the inspection, species that appeared to be sharks were found.” 

The media outlet further reported that the boat was stopped by the Coast Guard for a routine inspection. That was when authorities discovered the sharks in the vessel’s refrigerated quarters. The boat was then escorted to Bahia Solano for a full detail check. After the search, it was revealed that there were 89 fins and 114 mutilated specimens onboard. 

The fishing crew was arrested and the boat was seized. The crew will be detained while an investigation into the shark corpses continues. Susana Muhamad, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, further spoke about the situation. “There is a huge illegal wildlife trade around the world that we have to control.”

The New York Post also reported that anyone convicted of illegally harvesting sharks may be hit with a hefty fine as well as sentenced to prison for 48 to 108 months. Despite the penalties, Colombia authorities seized 7.4 tons of illicit fish production in 2022. 100 million sharks are still culled annually around the world despite global bans as well. 

The Incident in Colombia Happened Months After Illegal Shark Fins Were Discovered At a Texas Seafood Restaurant 

As previously reported, 400 illegal shark fins were seized from a seafood restaurant in Texas. Van’s Restaurant has been identified as the established. 

Van’s Restaurant notably served Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines for decades from its Broadway location in San Antonio, Texas. A report by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department that Thanh Hein Nguyen, Nga To Van, and Van To Van were those charged with purchasing to transport as well as possessing the shark fins. The charges are considered Class B misdemeanors. 

Kevin Winters, one of two Texas Game Wardens who discovered the illegal shark fins at Van’s Restaurant, spoke about the fins that were discovered. “Some were peeled ready, prepared to be cooked for the soup.” 

Nguyen denied the allegations against him. He also said that he had a lot of people behind him in regard to the situation. The other two suspects did not comment on the incident. Texas was the 10th state to ban the trade of shark fins. In 2015, the H.B. 1579 bill was introduced, which ensured that the state would no longer be involved in the global fin trade. The type of trading is considered partially responsible for the shark population decline.