Shark finning fears after dozens of fish washed up on beach

Llanelli Star - - NEWS - San­dra.hem­[email protected]­line.co.uk 01792 545535

DOZENS of small sharks have been washed up on a Car­marthen­shire beach – amid fears they may be the re­sult of an il­le­gal prac­tice.

A video show­ing a beach strewn with shark bod­ies has been posted to Facebook, with the au­thor es­ti­mat­ing there could be around 100 dead fish washed ashore at Burry Port.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, said on Facebook: “Such a sad, waste­ful sight. I stopped count­ing in the end as ev­ery wave brought more bod­ies.

“It was mostly smooth­hounds at Burry Port, but heav­ily preg­nant ones with pups hanging out of San­dra Hem­bery them.

“I dread to think how many were still float­ing in the sea. I’m sure what we saw was a small percentage of what was thrown back.”

A spokesman for the Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety said the fish ap­peared to be smooth­hounds, also called dog­fish.

They are a type of shark com­mon in our wa­ters.

The sharks can of­ten be caught by trawlers as a by­catch, some­times in great num­bers. They are then dumped at sea.

But the film ap­pears to show some bod­ies with the dor­sal fin re­moved.

If that is the case it may well be a crim­i­nal act.

The spokesman said: “Shark finning for over­seas mar­kets in Welsh wa­ters would be highly un­usual and al­most cer­tainly il­le­gal.”

Shark finning is the prac­tice of re­mov­ing the fins from a cap­tured shark and dis­card­ing the an­i­mal at sea, still liv­ing or dead.

Un­able to swim ef­fec­tively with­out their dor­sal fins, they sink to the bottom of the sea and die of suf­fo­ca­tion, or are eaten by other preda­tors.

The fins are of­ten used for shark fin soup and tra­di­tional cures, par­tic­u­larly in China and the Far East.

It is es­ti­mated that finning kills up to 100 mil­lion sharks each year.

The Car­marthen­shire fish sight­ing has an­gered other fish­er­men.

An­gler Vince Sims said: “What angers me most of all is this may be the re­sult of trawl­ing, not fish­ing with a line. They’ve got all the rules about how much we can or can­not do in re­gards to cod or bass cap­ture, us fish­er­men would only kill fish for the plate. “It’s wrong. Very wrong.” And Ian Wish said: “If you no­tice, the fins have been cut off.

“It looks like it may be com­mer­cial fish­er­men sell­ing the fins.”

Find out more on­line at... waleson­line.co.uk

Dead fish have washed up on a beach in Bury Port.

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