A SHARK hunting expedition was busted by the Indian Coast Guard on Monday night. More than 250 shark carcasses of endangered species were found aboard a fishing trawler off the Odisha coast, according to a press release by the Coast Guard on Wednesday. “On January 21, while on coastal patrol, Indian Coast Guard Ship C-426 apprehended trawler IFB Narasimhulu, between Gahirmatha Bio Reserve and Paradip. During the search, the boarding team found cacrcasses of protected species of sharks in the vessel storages”, read the press release.
The trailer was found with protected species, such as bull sharks, spot tail sharks and hammerhead sharks among others, read the release, adding that the trawler along with its seven crew members were handed over to the Odisha forest department for further investigation.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Indian Coast Guard DIG Paradip Rakesh Makwana said his organization and the forest department has carried out awareness campaigns against hunting of sharks and other protected species among the fishing communities along the Odisha coast.
“Shark hunting is fairly common off the coast (of Odisha). There is a network where traders in Puri buy shark fins and transport them to Chennai. From there, the haul is distributed across South East Asia”, said former member of National Board of Wildlife Biswajit Mohanty.
Mohanty added that this arrest was “surprising” because fishermen normally cut off fins and throw the sharks back into the water. “Normally, they don’t use the shark meat”.