According to the article, Sharkfin ‘kingpin’ sentenced for violating protection laws, from the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mark L. Harrison, the so-called "Shark Fin Kingpin", was sentenced to 5 years probation and a $5,000 fine for violating federal wildlife protection laws in a federal court in Atlanta, Ga. In addition to the fine and probation, Harrison has been ordered to place an advertisement in a large-circulation format publication in the fish industry regarding compliance with regulations for reporting shark fins. Updated 08/22/2009 – In addition to the above sentencing, Harrison has been ordered to perform 150 hours of community service. Harrison International was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000 and placed on probation for five years, according to the News Herald.
According to authorities, Harrison was responsible for buying and selling millions of shark fins over his 20-year career. Harrison was caught trying to ship shark fins from three protected shark species from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in August of 2007. Authorities noted that Harrison dried the fins in potentially unsanitary conditions.
Special Agent, James Gale, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was quoted as saying, "Hopefully, this sentence will raise public awareness of how unlawful commercialization impacts certain species of wildlife." Personally, I think the sentence seems a bit lenient, given the length of Harrison’s career and the potential value of illegal shark fins. However, based on the article, it seems as though Harrison was only being charged for the incident at the Hartfield-Jackson Airport, so for that single event, perhaps, this sentence is considered appropriate.
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