Officials in Iran came across a gruesome sight this week: hundreds of dead sharks washed up on shore. The cause isn’t some natural phenomenon – hunters have been illegally capturing the sharks, sawing off the fins and tossing them back into the water, where they got caught up in currents and eventually wound up on land.
Hossein Delshab, an official in the city of Bushehr, told a local news agency that hundreds of dead sharks had recently washed up on the shores of Shif island, raising “an alarm about the extinction of sharks” in the area.
Although shark fishing has been banned in the area since 2014, high demand for their prized fins has made hunting them worth the possible fine if the poachers are caught. Violators can be fined up to $7,000. But because it is believed that shark fin can help with sexual disorders, they are a popular item in local markets.