The ReutersTV YouTube Channel recently posted a brief “Rough Cuts” feature on recent images of a shark fins being dried on a rooftop in Hong Kong that have caused anger among both local and international conservationists.
According to a Global Regina article, the photos were taken by Hong Kong based photographer Antony Dickson in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. Environmentalist Gary Stokes originally photographed the shark fin operation on January 1. Dickson said that the rooftop was covered with “tens of thousands” of shark fins that were in the process of being dried out. Dickson was prompted to take the photos after seeing images of the shark fin operation via social media, according to Global Regina report.
There are no laws prohibiting the harvest or sale of shark fins in Hong Kong.
Pew Environment Group has released a video of Honduran law officials burning a pile of illegal shark fins, while Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, watched. President Lobo Sosa declared Honduran waters as a shark sanctuary last year. The burning of the illegal fins, which were primarily fins from nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum), was intended to symbolize Honduras’ commitment to enforcing shark protection laws.
Shark Year Magazine is reporting that approximately 7.7 tons of shark fins were seized in city of Belém last Friday. The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources discovered the fins during an inspection of a fish processing company. The company intended to export the fins to China. However, they now face fines of up to R$ 2.7 million (approximately 1.4 million USD) for failing to provide documentation about the shark carcasses from which the fins were removed.
The L.A. Times is reporting that California governor, Jerry Brown, has signed AB 376 (aka “Shark Protection Act”) into law. The newly signed law prohibits the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins in the State of California. The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2012.
XOOC, a non-profit marine conservation group based in Mexico, produced the video above, which focuses on the bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas) of Mexico’s Playa del Carmen.
Last fall, dozens of Playa’s bull sharks were killed by a local fisherman, who was paid 118,000 pesos (roughly $10,000 USD) for the sharks, according the video. The video also goes on to note that living sharks can bring in up to $300,000 USD dollars in tourism revenue per season. However, the fisherman who caught the sharks, argued that it was more profitable for him to catch and sell the sharks, since it was less dangerous and only required 4 hours of work.
Playa del Carmen had become a popular dive site in recent years and was known as one of the hot spots for diving with bull sharks.
(Note: This video showed up on YouTube yesterday, but was originally posted on Vimeo several months ago.)