Wildlife inspectors seized 1400 pounds (635 kilograms) of shark fins at a Miami port, officials said on Monday. Hundreds of sharks were killed for these fins.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service said the shipment of dried fins arrived in 18 boxes and was believed to have originated in South America, and likely bound for Asia. The fins are often used for shark fin soup, considered a Chinese delicacy.
Officials estimated the total commercial value to be between $700,000 and $1 million.
Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year by smugglers who cut the fins from live animals, according to conservation groups. Unable to swim effectively, they sink to the bottom of the ocean and die of suffocation or are eaten by other predators.
HEARTBREAKING: Sharks often have their fins cut off while still alive, then are tossed overboard.— John Oberg (@JohnOberg) June 18, 2019
They can no longer swim, so they sink to the bottom of the #ocean and die slowly of suffocation or are eaten by other predators.#Shark fin soup must be banned. RT if you agree. 💔 pic.twitter.com/yzqBsIBzA7