Cheap shark meat exposes lax protection in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/5 19:53:39

A fishmonger holds up a shark carcass at the Xiaogang docks in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on Monday. Photo: IC

 An East China fish market was found to be selling shark meat at rock-bottom prices on Sunday, once again raising concerns over lax protection of shark populations in China. 

Photos taken at Xiaogang docks in Qingdao, Shandong Province show small shark carcasses, both fresh and dried, in crates or laid out on tarps.

Prices ranged from 20 to 60 yuan ($3-9) a kilogram. A majority of the of the sharks appear small.

The local government has not commented as of press time.

While initial reports did not mention their specific species, the photos raised red flags online as many sharks are now endangered due to overfishing.

However, sharks are not listed as endangered in China, resulting in similar cases that have garnered international attention.

Netizens and animal rights activists showed their teeth after nearly 100 hammerheads were spotted at a fish market in Sanya, Hainan Province in April 2016.

They were being sold for 30 yuan a kilogram despite the species being included the Convention on International Trade Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2013.

While the hammerheads were eventually seized by authorities, experts lamented the lack of legal means for their protection in China.

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