Brazil Seizes Extra Than 30 Tons of Unlawful Shark Fins—a Surprising New Report

By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, June 23, 2023 @ 10:00 AM (EST)
Supply: Live Science

Officers in Brazil have seized shark fins weighing greater than 28,700 kilograms—over 30 tons. Officers at Ibama, a federal company below Brazil’s Ministry of the Setting, estimate that about 10,000 sharks—largely blue sharks and shortfin makos—would have been killed to supply the large haul. It could possibly be the world’s largest-ever confiscation of unlawful shark fins.

Shark fishing is banned throughout Brazil, however the apex predators are nonetheless illegally caught by fishers in sure areas. In accordance with an Ibama statement (Portuguese), almost all of the fins (greater than 95%) had been confiscated from a single unnamed exporting firm in Santa Catarina, which is on the southern coast of Brazil, whereas the rest was seized from one other firm, additionally unnamed, working out of the São Paulo-Guarulhos Worldwide Airport.

“Ibama has monitored the commerce and export of shark fins and now we have recognized the quantity, the big quantity of those fins being marketed, primarily to Asia, which is the principle shopper market,” Jair Schmitt, director of Ibama, mentioned within the assertion. Throughout Asia, shark fin is bought as powder or in capsules, or to be used in shark fin soup, with baseless claims that it nourishes the blood, improves urge for food, boosts sexual efficiency, and even prevents most cancers and coronary heart illness.

In December final yr, President Biden signed into legislation the “Shark Fin Gross sales Elimination Act,” which prohibits the industrial commerce of shark fins and merchandise containing shark fins within the U.S. Nevertheless, tens of millions of sharks—73 million based on one examine—are estimated to be killed yearly to provide the shark fin market.