Officials from the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, on Monday, would be testing the Shark Fins seized by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) sleuths earlier this month to ascertain whether the seized fins were of endangered species of sharks. If the examination confirms that the fins belonged to some endangered species, the accused will be booked under the relevant sections of Wildlife Protection Act.
On September 1, DRI officials, on receipt of information that few exporters are indulging in illegal export of Shark fins of various species, had seized around 8000 kilogramme of Shark fins which was meant for illicit export by mis-declaring them as Dried Ray Skins, Dried Marine Products, Fish Maw, etc to avoid detection and circumvent prohibition.
In all, 3000 kg of Shark fins were seized from a godown at Sewri and 5000 kg were seized from a godown in Veraval, Gujarat.
The agency had arrested four persons - brothers Sharafat Ali, Hamid Sultan (both owners of company known as Global Impex Forwarding, having its offices and godowns at Sewree, Veraval and Tamil Nadu, Ashiq Ahmed (he used to make invoices and take orders from the parties) and B Shiva Raman (he used to mix Ray Skins with Shark Fins), in the case.
Probe had revealed that entire quantity was intended to be exported to China and Hong Kong, where Shark fins are used for preparing a delicacy called the 'Shark fin soup'. It is a traditional soup or stewed dish found in Chinese cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine. One bowl of Shark fin soup costs 100 USD upwards, officials said.
"Six shark species are marked as endangered species in which even domestic possession of sharks are banned. Once the experts will confirm that seized fins were of endangered species, we would apply Wildlife Protection Act sections in the case against accused," said a DRI official.
WHY EXAMINE FINS?