Tahiti seizes shark fins and teeth

8:52 pm on 23 October 2020

Customs officials in French Polynesia have seized shark fins and shark teeth during a search of a Spanish-flagged boat in Tahiti.

Shark fins found in the freezer of the Shuen De Ching No.888. In total there were sacks containing 75 kilograms of shark fins from at least 42 sharks. Under Taiwanese law and Pacific fishing rules, shark fins may not exceed 5% of the weight of the shark catch. 9 Sep 2015

Shark fins. Photo: Paul Hilton / Greenpeace

Tahiti Nui TV said the discovery was made a week ago when they also found a small quantity of undeclared alcohol and tobacco products.

It reported that in the hold, the boat had 26 kilogrammes of shark teeth and 20 kilogrammes of shark fins.

Sharks are protected in French Polynesia and their possession or transport in its waters is illegal.

The report said the captain, who was fined, planned to sell the items.

In March, a Chinese fishing boat ran aground in Arutua which was found to have a large quantity of sharks, whose bodies were stitched up with cut-off fins inside them.

The owners, which abandoned the vessel, are still facing court over the incident.