Last Wednesday, inspectors from the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) discovered shark fins from protected species among air cargo being exported to Hong Kong. Among the fins were species including the oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) and several types of hammerheads (Sphyrna).
SENASA officials identified the fins during a training session conducted with the ocean conservation group Pretoma. The exercise aims to help customs officials identify fins that belong to protected species and separate them from those that are permitted for export. Costa Rica allows the export of shark fins from non-protected species as long as the sharks were landed at docks with fins naturally attached to the body.