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Sassoon Dock whale shark has missing fins; cut into pieces before officials reached the dock

A day after the whale shark was discovered dead at the Sassoon Dock, officials from the state-run Mangrove Foundation informed that some of its fins were missing.

Sassoon Dock whale shark has missing fins; cut into pieces before officials reached the dock
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On Thursday, August 13, a day after the whale shark was discovered dead at the Sassoon Dock, officials from the state-run Mangrove Foundation informed that some of its fins were missing.

While the fishermen at the Sassoon Dock in Colaba informed the Police after the whale shark was found, it was cut into pieces for sale even before the state fisheries department reached the dock.

However, the Police said to have detained two people in connection with the illegal crime, which includes a tempo driver and a buyer who is allegedly involved in the trading of endangered species.

This incident comes a week after the fisheries had begun an investigation with regards to unauthorised fishing practices that are affecting rare and endangered marine species along the state’s coastline.

The probe was ordered based on a report by marine biologists from the Mangrove Foundation, under the mangrove cell of the state forest department, which had documented unsustainable fishing practices, excessive juvenile bycatch and illegal shark fin trade.

Shark fisheries, which have grown both in India and the other parts of the world, has played its due part in the expanding market for shark fins over the last few decades raising concerns about the sustainability of shark stocks in what is largely known as an unregulated sector.

Whale sharks are a protected species under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, however, despite it being a criminal offence, adult whale sharks are often caught and killed for their liver oil and fins.

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