Breaking: Shark attack in Indonesia. But this time humans are the offending party.
Authorities caught 33 poachers last week with over $160,000 in sharks, manta rays, and sea cucumbers. The fish were illegally taken from the Kawe Marine Protected Area, which prohibits fishing in 97% of its waters.
The poached fish are a hot ticket item for Asian consumers. Whereas shark’s-fin soup is a delicacy in China, Japanese diners covet sea cucumbers. Sadly, patrol officers were forced to release the traffickers even though they had their illegal catch and gear. What the what?
This incident raises the question: How do you protect particular areas of the ocean when you don’t have the means to enforce this?
Conservation International provides this region with $200,000 annually to fund its patrol officers. However, it just isn't enough. Authorities unfortunately don't have the manpower to apprehend poachers' boats.