Shark finning fears after dozens of fish washed up on beach
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.”
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Dead fish have washed up on a beach in Bury Port.