As if the Taiji dolphin slaughter wasn’t enough to make your heart cry.
Hong Kong, China, based wildlife conservation group, WildLifeRisk, has uncovered a brutal scene in China’s Zheijiang province. At least one factory in the area is killing over 600 sharks annually, which is the world’s largest wholesale slaughter of an internationally protected species. The four year WildLifeRisk investigation has pointed the finger at the PuQi factory’s involvement in the trade of these majestic creatures throughout the areas of coastal China.
While this brutal practice is internationally prohibited, the investigation uncovered a global market for the export of whale shark products in Italy, Canada and even the United States. Shark lips, stomach and flesh are sold as food products and their skins are utilized in the bag trade as leathers for fashion products. As if that isn’t horrific enough, the most profitable portion of the trade is the sale of shark livers because the oils are used in beauty products and Omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Representatives of WildLifeRisk, Alex Hofford and Paul Hilton, released a joint statement saying, “We went to PuQi three times in the last three years, and on each occasion the scale of the slaughter was truly staggering. How these harmless creatures, these gentle giants of the deep, can be slaughtered on such an industrial scale is beyond belief – all for human vanity; lipsticks, face creams, health supplements, shark fin soup restaurants etc. We firmly believe the trade must stop, and it must stop now, or else these animals will eventually face extinction.”
The fisherman stand to make a pretty penny from their illegal efforts, as a single whale shark can bring in the equivalent of $31,000 US dollars, but WildLifeRisk stands strong in its efforts to investigate and expose this cruelty to the world so that yet another slaughter of protected marine wildlife will be deemed unethical, immoral and unacceptable.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock