Shark finning alert

Costa Rica requested the INTERPOL Purple Notice to warn other member countries after identifying a new method of illegal shark finning. Credit: INTERPOL Costa Rica requested the INTERPOL Purple Notice to warn other member countries after identifying a new method of illegal shark finning. Credit: INTERPOL

An INTERPOL alert has been circulated to all 190 member countries, after a method of shark finning aimed at avoiding detection of illegal practices was identified by Coast Rican authorities.

This technique is where only a band of skin keeping the fin attached to the spine is retained and the remainder of the body discarded at sea. This method is aimed at finding a way around legislation banning finning which states that the fins of the shark must be ‘naturally attached’ to the body.

The aim of an INTERPOL Purple Notice is to seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals. The details of this case were presented by the head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in San José, during the second INTERPOL Fisheries Crime Working Group meeting which opened in Nairobi, Kenya on 4 November.

Head of NCB San José Gustavo Chinchilla said: “This is an opportunity to encourage other member countries to share types of modi operandi, in order to alert enforcement authorities to environmental crimes. I strongly believe that international cooperation and use of INTERPOL’s tools, such as Purple Notices, allow us to provide a more coordinated and effective response to addressing fisheries issues.”

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