QUITO – More than 100,000 shark fins were seized during a police operation in the coastal city of Manta in western Ecuador, according to official reports on Wednesday.
“So far nine raids have been conducted and more than 100,000 shark fins have been seized,” the attorney general’s office posted on Twitter, adding that the task-force was set up to apprehend traffickers of shark products, which cater to Asian markets.
According to the Public Ministry, four people were detained, while the operation found seven firearms and chemicals to preserve shark fins.
Interior Minister Jose Serrano tweeted that the find was abnormal and said that the 100,000 fins would imply that no less than 25,000 sharks had been sacrificed.
“We must end these criminal networks which do not see beyond their economic interest and destroy the ecosystem,” Serrano said after congratulating the police on their success.
Fishing sharks is banned in Ecuador; however, President Rafael Correa legalized the sale of fins removed from sharks caught unintentionally.