6,000 kg of ‘shark fins’ seized

July 31, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:52 am IST - KOCHI

Contraband smuggled from city under guise of fish exports

The Kochi city police late on Saturday seized suspected shark fins weighing around 6,000 kg.

Acting on a tip-off, the shadow police team of sub inspector Honey K. Das effected the seizure during a raid at an export agency operating at Karivelippady. The contraband was being smuggled from Kochi under the guise of fish product exports.

The documents of the company were seized as part of investigation into where they got possession of the fins and how they were exporting it.

The officers said the seizure was effected after seeking legal advice from scientists of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and forest law experts.

The case was later handed over to the Forest Department, which has launched a detailed probe into the seizure.

According to Forest officials, no one has the licence to export or possess the fins that are often collected from the sharks while they are alive. Removal of fins renders a shark immobile, and it dies of suffocation or gets eaten by other predators.

The activity invites punishment under the Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act. As per a circular of the Wildlife deputy inspector general in 2013, finning is considered as hunting of sharks.

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