In Colombia, more than 3,000 shark fins have been confiscated.

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In Colombia, more than 3,000 shark fins have been confiscated.

Colombian authorities seized tens of thousands of shark fins before they could be illegally sent to Hong Kong, according to officials.

Bogota “seized 3,493 shark fins and 117 kilos of fish bladders en route to Hong Kong,” according to Carolina Urrutia, the head of the Colombian environment ministry.

The haul demonstrates the persistent demand for shark fin, which is given at wedding feasts in some Chinese villages and is mistakenly thought to have medicinal characteristics.

The fins, which were taken from 900 to 1,000 sharks with lengths of up to five meters, were discovered in five boxes in Bogota’s main airport, El Dorado, on Friday.

The fins, which were taken from “more than three species” of shark, were presumably caught in “illegal fishing,” according to Urrutia, who condemned “the irreparable environmental damage to Colombia’s marine ecosystem.”

The investigation will be handled by national police, she added.

Since 2020, shark fishing has been prohibited in Colombia, which is home to 76 of the 500 known shark species, in an effort to curb the Asian fin trade.

Shark fin is not prohibited in Hong Kong, although it does require a license, and it has remained persistently popular despite years of advocacy.

Shark populations have been destroyed over the last few decades due to finning and industrial longline fishing, two of the ocean’s most important apex predators.

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