By Steve Mertl
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is investigating possible poaching after CBC News obtained images of slaughtered porbeagle sharks and other marine species at a weir in Grand Manan, N.B.
According to CBC News, a series of photos and video show fishermen posing on top and alongside of what look like piles of dead porbeagle sharks. The photos also show harbour porpoise and basking shark carcasses.
In one of the videos, a fisherman is seen straddling a dead porbeagle shark and, holding it by the nose, jerking the head and pretending it's laughing while he announces "Bradford's Cove weir" to the camera.
In one shot, a fisherman appears to be slicing a dead shark's fins.
"Shark finning is illegal in Atlantic Canada," DFO conservation officer Ralph MacInnon told CBC News, adding the photo appears to show an illegal activity. "If that is a shark and the fins are being taken off of it in that fashion and it hasn't been landed, it's illegal."
Some of the photos, apparently posted on social networks, are recent but others appear to date back as far as 2010, CBC News reported. The news organization obtained 20 of them before they were suddenly removed from Facebook.
CBC News said it tried unsuccessfully to reach the holder of the fishing licence for Bradford's Cove weir.
Steve Turnbull, a University of New Brunswick marine biologist and shark expert, said porbeagle sharks are unofficially considered as an endangered species while more research is done on their populations. More....