Great White Shark Finned in Guinjata
The 28th of January was a sad day for Dive Instructor Adam Baugh at Guinjata Dive Center in Mozambique. He and others at the Resort witnessed the local fishermen pulling in a net with a two and a half meter juvenile female great white shark. Photographs were taken of the shark and of the finning process that ensued. The fishermen set gill nets directly in front of the resort. These thicker nets are not discriminatory and can catch everything from turtles and dolphins to smaller sharks, such as juvenile hammerheads caught the day before and photographed by Adam, and things as big as a whale shark, one of which was found in the area during November. Adam was able to extract a piece of tissue, before the fins were sold to Chinese buyers to feed the market for their shark fin soup. The demand for shark fins in Inhambane province is the primary concern here, not the incidental catch by the local community. The remainder of the carcass was brought to the local village. Rest assured the body was not wasted. The meat is used to feed the local community, however they are unaware that these top predators accumulate toxins, such as methylmercurys in the tissue and are actually poisonous to consume on a regular basis.
We currently have several member from the community trying to determine who are the Chinese buyers in the area. With more information and photographs about the boats that are being launched to pull in the nets we can determine if the fishing and nets are legal. If there is any information about those who are taking the fins we may be able to slow the shark fin trade in Mozambique by eliminating some of the middle-men, and take this case to the national fisheries level. Please help us by emailing here, posting on our facebook or calling at +258842059440, if you have any information, or witness more illegal catches of great whites, turtles, or any marine mammals.
Photo Credit to Adam Baugh in Guinjata