Endangered sharks with fins cut off found gutted, dead off Hawaii Island

(DLNR (custom credit))
Updated: Jul. 31, 2019 at 5:48 PM HST
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HAWAII ISLAND, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Two endangered whitetip reef sharks were found dead and without fins on Hawaii Island. The disturbing discovery is raising alarm for marine biologists.

The dead sharks were found last month at Kaalualu Bay on the island’s south side.

Environmental officials also said the sharks were also gutted.

(Aquatic Life Divers & Big Island Divers (custom credit))

A dive tour company saw the sharks alive and swimming without fins on the island’s west side just prior to their death. The photos captured were handed over to authorities.

“Shark finning is not a new phenomenon, but the recent number of incidents is concerning. This is especially true for the threatened oceanic whitetip. We hope that once people see these photos they will join us in condemning and discouraging this kind of activity regardless of its legality,” Stacia Marcoux, a Fish & Habitat Monitoring Technician with the DLNR said.

State law bans taking, killing, owning or selling sharks. Hawaii outlawed the shark fin trade industry in 2011.

“We can debunk the ‘Jaws’ myth that sharks are man eaters and we encourage people to learn more about sharks and respect the role they play in our Ocean,” Brian Neilson, Division of Aquatic Resources Administrator, said.

Anyone with information on the discovery of the dead sharks should call the DLNR hotline at 643-3567.

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