The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society welcomes the news from the South African environmental authorities that they have confiscated over five tons of shark fins.
In a letter to Marcel Kroese, head of law enforcement for the South African Marine and Coastal Management Agency, Captain Paul Watson is urging the authorities to prosecute the poachers to the fullest extent of South African law.
"Five tons of shark fins represents hundreds of thousands of sharks and this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the international illegal take of sharks. We must make those who are caught serve as a deterrent to other poachers and maximum jail sentences and fines must be handed down." Said Captain Watson.
Marcel Kroese said to the media that all of the sharks thrown back into the sea after their fins were hacked off would have died.
Shark-finning has created a global crisis affecting all known shark species. Sharks have been declining alarmingly across the world as their fins have become prized, particularly in Asia, where shark fin soup is a delicacy.