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Finned sharks found washed up on New Zealand's coast

By Lucy Brake - 31 Aug 2011 22:5:0 GMT
Finned sharks found washed up on New Zealand's coast

Two people came across around 200 finless baby sharks washed up at Owhanake Bay, Waiheke Island, which is one of the many islands in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. The sharks are a species known as rig sharks and were discovered on Sunday along the north western beaches on Waiheke Island.

Shark lobby group, The Australian Anti Shark Finning Alliance (TAASFA) is disgusted by the find. They believe that the sharks would have experienced painful deaths and that the people responsible need to be brought to justice.

The director of the Anti-Shark Finning Alliance, Mick Dowers said in an interview with TV3 New Zealand that the people who killed these sharks in such a barbaric way are only interested in money: "There's no animal welfare concerns that these people take on board. They simply see sharks as a meal ticket, as big money, and they'll do whatever they can to get the fins off the sharks and onto the market".

TAASFA estimate that every year up to 73 million sharks are finned alive and that dried shark fins can reach up to NZ$1000 per kilogram.

The locals reported the gruesome discovery to the New Zealand police who passed it onto the Ministry of Fisheries for further investigation. Speaking to TV3 New Zealand the Ministry of Fisheries says the deaths of about 200 dead sharks on Waiheke Island are not suspicious and they will not be investigating.

The problem they say is that this practice is not illegal. Greg Keys from the Ministry of Fisheries said to TV3 New Zealand that the rig shark is what is commonly referred to as a dog fish which is included under New Zealand's quota management system: "The fish is processed at sea, a process that is commonly called 'trunking'."

TAASFA has recently posted a New Zealand Wall of Shame on their website to draw attention to the restaurants and business in New Zealand that support the shark finning industry and keep this barbaric practice alive.

Top Image Credit: Spiny Dog Fish © Greg Amptman