Brazilian Business Accused of Mutilating Sharks for Fins

Shark fin soup is the hot ticket in Asia
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2010 11:11 AM CDT
Brazilian Business Accused of Mutilating Sharks for Fins
Fins of sharks are seen after an operation against illegal selling, at exporter Sigel do Brasil Comercio in Belem, Para state, Brazil, in this May 25, 2010 photo.   (AP Photo/Nelio Saldanha, Ibama)

Here’s a story sure to rain on your Shark Week parade: A Brazilian environmental advocacy group is suing a Brazilian seafood exporter, alleging that it has been capturing sharks, cutting off their fins, and throwing the severely wounded creatures back into the water. Removing a shark’s fin is illegal in Brazil, but the demand for shark fin soup is so strong in Asia, and particularly China, that trade in the fin is booming, the BBC explains.

The group is suing the company for $790 million. “As we can’t put a value on life, we have calculated the impact on the ecosystem,” says the Environmental Justice Institute. “We think the sharkfins were exported clandestinely, in containers, likely from the ports of Rio Grande do Sul to the Asian market.” For happier Shark Week stories, click here and here. (Read more sharks stories.)

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