Guinea seizes shark fins from Chinese ships

2017-04-13 05:47
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Conakry - Guinea has seized a haul of shark fins and carcasses from Chinese ships fishing illegally off the coast of the west African country and fined the owners.

The seizure was part of a push launched in February to crack down on illegal fishing in West African waters, aided by the environmental campaign group Greenpeace.

Shark carcasses

"Three ships were boarded and searched, two for having shark fins on board," said Demba Guisse, the director of Guinea's national fishing monitoring body.

With its vessel "Esperanza", Greenpeace is working with local officials from six African countries to monitor the waters off their coasts.

Guinean inspectors discovered 30 bags of shark carcasses including a huge hammerhead - an endangered species - on one of the ships.

The two vessels with shark fins aboard - some discovered on the roof or stashed between crates - were each fined around $265 000, Greenpeace said.

Both are owned by Dalian Lian Run Pelagic Fishery Company, which Greenpeace said is one of China's largest distant water fishing outfits.

Sharks are particularly vulnerable to overfishing, with around 100 million killed each year, Greenpeace said.

Stopped four ships

Global conservation efforts are complicated by the high prices fetched by shark fins, considered a delicacy in Asia where they are served for special occasions like weddings and banquets.

Greenpeace and authorities from neighbouring Guinea Bissau last month stopped four ships for various infractions including the use of unauthorised equipment.

"What we're seeing here is an utter lack of respect for West African fishing laws," said Greenpeace campaigner Ahmed Diame.

Read more on:    greenpeace  |  guinea  |  west africa

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