Kochi port involved in shark selling: PETA

Kochi port involved in shark selling: PETA

"The government-owned port at Kochi in Kerala bans visitors carrying camera inside. We did an undercover operation through spy cam and found that sharks were being sold there," senior campaign coordinator of People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Nikunj Sharma told reporters here.

Although sharks are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and their sale is banned, the rare fish are killed openly at this port and sold, Sharma said. In a ten-minute-long video, the NGO has shown how sharks were tortured to death and bred in unhygienic condition.

Sharma quoting a survey from 1999 to 2000 said as many as 591 sharks were killed for their meat as well for liver oil in India. "PETA's investigation concluded that illegal fishing and government's irresponsible attitude towards the problem are endangering sharks and other marine life," he said, expressing grave concern over the overexploitation of fish resources.

"India is the world's third largest producer of fish, accounting for almost 64 lakh tones of fish share annually," PETA says. PETA, which will be petitioning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with the documents on the overexploitation of fish resources, said that commercial fishing devastates ecosystems.

"Bottom trawling, involves dragging huge and heavy nets along the sea floor, is one of the most damaging, unsustainable fishing practices in India," Sharma said. "The populations of deep water life forms who are either hauled up or crushed by the nets' wheels can take decades to recover," he said.

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