1,400 pounds of shark fins worth about $1 million were seized in a Miami port

U.S. Fish And Wildlife Services
  • Wildlife inspectors seized 1,400 pounds of dried shark fins at a Miami port, CBS News reported.
  • While it’s not illegal to sell shark fins in the US, the shipment contained species protected in the US.
  • Activists have lobbied Congress to ban the sale of shark fins nationwide.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Wildlife inspectors seized 1,400 pounds of dried shark fins at a Miami port on January 24, CBS News reported.

The 18 boxes of shark fins were valued between $US700,000 and $US1 million, CBS News reported, citing officials. US Fish and Wildlife Service officials believe the shipment was on its way from South America to Asia, where shark fins are used for cooking and traditional medicine.

Customs and Border Protection helped with the investigation and said the boxes were falsely declared.

While shark finning is illegal in US waters, buying and selling fins is not. However, the shipment violated the Lacey Act, which bans the trade of illegally obtained wildlife, CBS News reported. The shipment contained shark species protected by the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

The trading of shark fins is a major environmental concern because it depletes the ocean’s shark populations, according to organisations such as Oceana. Oceana is lobbying Congress to pass the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act to stop the trade in the US.

Authorities have not announced any criminal charges for the Miami shipment, and the investigation is ongoing, CBS News reported.

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