Police in the Philippines seized 1,000 pounds of thresher shark meat on the island of Cebu Wednesday 6/11/14. Threshers sharks are listed as a “vunerable” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). They also list the thresher sharks populations as declining and the species could face extinction unless some conservation efforts are put in place.
The meat was found on a lorry with the driver and two assistants being arrested. NDTV reports Loy Anthony Madrigal, head of the Cebu illegal fishing task force said “The people on board the truck… said they were just transporting fish. But when we checked the cargo, we found boxes of large chunks of shark torsos and packs of shark meat to be used as ingredients for tempura and fish balls”
Tipped off by an informant he was told that some some fish vendors use the shark meat to make the Asian snack, skewered fish balls and Japanese styled fried tempur. The meat was tested by a fisheries expert who confirmed it was from thresher sharks. Mr. Madgril added that those convicted of butchering sharks could face a maximum of 20 years in jail.