Sunday, March 15, 2009
South African authorities have seized a Taiwanese fishing boat accused of violating limits on shark fishing. Inspectors confiscated 1.6 tons of dried shark fins from the vessel and said it was "the biggest alleged illegal consignment during recent years." The boat's permit was valid for just 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of shark fins.The environment ministry said the amount of dried shark fin suggested that the vessel had caught at least 30 tons of sharks, nearly 15 times what the crew claimed to have caught.In a statement Saturday it said the vessel would remain in Cape Town pending criminal proceedings and would be blacklisted worldwide. Shark-finning is fueled by big profit margins with shark fins estimated to fetch between $400-$700 per kilogram (2.2 pounds).