Illegal import of shark fins into Canada by company fined for US$60,000
Photo: Steve Woods
Kiu Yick Trading Co. Ltd., a company based in British Columbia, Canada was caught and investigated for an attempt to import 13 boxes of silky shark fins without a permit as part of a larger shipment in February 2018.
The government authorities calculated that approximately 3,185 individual silky sharks were finned to fill up these 13 boxes.
“This amount is believed to be the largest forfeiture of shark fins in Canada to date”, as reported by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
The importing company tried to falsify the content and to cover up this illegal shipment declaring only blue sharks , which are not protected by the convention. Due to a big efforts from the law enforcement officials and DNA testing of the shipment, it was proven that more than 65 per cent of the fins came back as silky sharks.
For unlawfully importing a CITES-listed species without a permit, the Kiu Yick Trading Co. Ltd. was fined 60,000 $ after the court hearing and guilty verdict.
The Silky Shark, also known as the Carcharhinus Falciformis, gets its name from the smooth and silky texture of its skin. It is also called as the Grey Reef, Olive, Whaler and sometimes Blackspot Shark depending on its geographical location.
Photo By Alex Chernikh - Фото Алекса Черных, Гардинес де ла Рейна, Куба, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2138939
These sharks have a slim and streamlined body. As adults, they can easily reach 3.5 meters (12ft.) in length and weigh around 350 kilograms (770 pounds). The warm, tropical waters all over the world is their favorite habitat. They are the most common sharks of the Pelagic Zone.
Silky Sharks are on the list of a protected species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Silky Sharks are at a great risk of extinction as they are one of the three most traded shark species in the world shark fin trade and listed on CITES' “Appedix II” list in late 2017.
It is an urgent need for this trade to be regulated to prevent a catastrophic disappearance of these unique shark species.