Shark Fins Worth $1 Million Seized at Miami Airport
Dried shark fins valued at up to $1million have been seized at a Miami port, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The seizure was made on 24 January, when 635kg (1400lb) of shark fins in 18 boxes were stopped at customs by wildlife inspectors. The shark fins were hidden amongst dried specimens of non-illegal fish, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
The fins are believed to have originated in South America and were probably destined for the Asian shark fin soup market. The commercial value of the fins seized in Miami is estimated to be between $700,000 and $1 million.
Christina Meister, a spokeswoman for the US Fish and Wildlife Service told the Miami Herald that 'the goal of this seizure is to protect these species while deterring trackers from using U.S. ports as viable routes in the illegal shark fin trade,' adding that no arrests have as yet been made, pending further investigation.
Despite rising international condemnation and prohibition of the trade in shark fins, it is estimated that up to 100 million sharks are killed each year, with many deliberately targeted for their fins. Valuable species such as the oceanic whitetip have seen their populations decline by more than 90 per cent in some locations.