Shocking! 2,000 Sharks Massacred For Their Fins In Colombian Territory

Colombian environmental authorities have reported a huge shark massacre in the Malpelo wildlife sanctuary in Colombia’s Pacific waters, where as many as 2,000 hammerhead, Galapagos and silky sharks may have been slaughtered for their fins.

From The Guardian:

“I received a report, which is really unbelievable, from one of the divers who came from Russia to observe the large concentrations of sharks in Malpelo. They saw a large number of fishing trawlers entering the zone illegally,” said Sandra Bessudo, the Colombian president’s top adviser on environmental issues said. The divers counted a total of 10 fishing boats, which all were flying the Costa Rican flag.

“When the divers dove, they started finding a large number of animals without their fins. They didn’t see any alive,” she said. One of the divers provided a video that shows the finless bodies of dead sharks on the ocean floor.

Calculating an average of 200 sharks per boat, “our estimates are that as many as 2,000 sharks may have been killed,” Bessudo said.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The sanctuary covers 8,570 square kilometres of marine environment that provides a habitat for threatened marine species, and  in particular sharks. In 2006 Unesco included the park on its list of World Heritage sites.

Once the report of the finnings were made public, the navy dispatched a ship to the area and on Sunday reported the seizure of an Ecuadorian fishing boat, caught with an illegal catch of 300kg, including sharks and other species.

At the same time, Colombia’s foreign ministry took up the issue with the Costa Rican government, which vowed to co-operate to help stop the practice by ships registered under its flag.

Costa Rica Condemns Finning

In a communique, the Costa Rican foreign ministry said it “energetically condemns” the reported finning and said it would prosecute if the participation of Costa Rican flagged ships were involved. At least three of the ships were identified by their names: the Marco Antonio, the Jefferson and the Papante.

The Colombian shark massacre is especially shocking as it comes just as I wrote about the sweeping U.S. West Coast ban on the trade of shark fins. It’s a reminder that while we have made a lot of progress for sharks over the past few years, they are still being killed for their fins in appalling numbers.

Global Shark Movement At A Critical Juncture

It’s also a reminder that the global shark conservation movement is at a critical juncture. An increasing number of nations are recognizing the need to protect the ocean’s top predators. Chile passed a national ban on shark finning this summer, and more recently, Mexico and the Marshall Islands have announced plans for new shark protections. More governments are realizing the value of sharks to the health of their oceans and economies.

It’s encouraging to see the tide rising on global shark conservation, but it’s also important to note the role of illegal fishing in this tragic incident. Marine sanctuaries are wonderful places, but enforcement is key to keep out the illegal fishermen who aim to capitalize on the wealth of fish and sharks that make these areas so special.

We need increased protections for sharks, and we need to curb illegal fishing.

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Photo Credit:Latin Tour


graham r.
graham read4 years ago

The bottom line is these are people who consider their own personal financial gain, or in the case of the Chinese a useless tradition, more important than the continued existence of an entire species.
It's genuinely stupid, selfish, short-sighted greed. And stupid.
Did I mention stupidity?
Selfish, greedy stupidity?
The same sort of thing is happening in Northern Canada with the Harp Seals.
Some politicians from the region argue in defense of the "hunt" (is strolling up to a helpless baby seal and smashing it's brains in with a club really hunting?) that "The annual Harp Seal 'hunt' is the only source of income for thousands of Canadians".
Yeah...well so is child pornography and human trafficking.
That isn't a reason to support it.
So, these people, the ones who "hunt" the seals and fin the sharks are doing it because it's their only way to earn money? So what are they going to do when these animals have been hunted to extinction?
They're going to have to find some other way to support themselves. It's an inevitability. And if they're going to have to find new types of work in the near future, why can't they do it now?
Stupid, greedy, lazy and short-sighted.

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege4 years ago

I find this sickening. Why can't people understand the harm they do??? What would they they if their hands or feet were cut to feed sharks?

Carmen P.
Nalleli PĂ©rez4 years ago

Pobres tiburones, no quiero que se extingan por los estúpidos humanos X(
¡Somos unos monstruos!

Nicolas Nasrallah

It's sad how humans believe they have the right to massacre any species they desire . We have no right to kill anything. We have to learn how to share.

Carrie Anne Brown

sad news :( but thanks for sharing

Janine H.
Janine H.4 years ago

people kill more of their own as animals kill people. Isn't it insane, "we" want to have the only right to kill another life, so "we" hunt animals like wolfes, etc. all these animals who could be some "rivals". As if "we" were in the Stone Age, but then people only took what was necessary and not more - as "we" do today. And when an animal attacks or kill on of "us", "we" want death penalty.

Insane society

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

Read more:

Stacey S.
Stacey S.4 years ago


Laura M
Laura M4 years ago

When will people realize how important Sharks are to the environment and our oceans? They are majestic dinosaurs that deserve our protection. I have and will sign any petition that helps protect these wonderful creatures. I urge everyone to sign petitions to protect our Sharks!

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado5 years ago

Fining should be banned every where and save all sharks.

Bill K.
Bill K.5 years ago

all shark fishing should be banned, including sport fishing.