Customs have seized illegal shark fins from more than 1,000 sharks at a mail sorting center in The Hague, the Dutch Enterprise Authority (RVO) said in a statement. Government agencies are investigating whether the Dutch were involved.
The Dutch Enterprises Authority (RVO) reported that the cargo was heading from Hong Kong to the Netherlands. These shipments included 120 kilograms of mako shark fins and 29 smooth hammerhead fins. The agency estimated the seized cargo was worth about 4,000 fins and said between 800 and 1,300 sharks may have died.
Shark fins come from two species of shark that are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international treaty regulating trade in endangered species. Legal imports and exports of CITES protected species require a permit, which can be obtained from the RFO. Customs officials regularly check these permits. In this case, the lack of the required CITES documentation led the RFO to confiscate and ultimately destroy the shark fin. RVO is currently investigating Dutch organizations involved in these incidents.
The agency also cited an estimate that about 100 million sharks are killed each year, mostly for their fins, underscoring the urgent need for shark protection.
Sharks are hunted worldwide primarily for their fins and are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world. Some believe that shark fin has medicinal properties. This has led to unsustainable practices such as shark fin fishing, where sharks are caught, their fins cut off, and the rest of their bodies dumped into the ocean alive.
https://nltimes.nl/2023/07/06/4000-illegal-shark-fins-seized-customs-hague Customs in The Hague seizes 4,000 illegal shark fins