Angola: Authorities to destroy 400kg of shark fins held since 2016

The Angolan authorities have stored 400 kilos of shark fins, confiscated since 2016, which will soon be destroyed, the Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (INBAC) said on Wednesday.

The situation was described today by INBAC director, Albertina Nzunzi, at a press conference where the slaughter of sharks by Angolan fishermen, allegedly lured by Chinese citizens to remove fins, was discussed.

Albertina Nzunzi said that the authorities were planning to confiscate large quantities of the product at the international airport when flights resumed, following a public complaint by EcoAngola, an Angolan environmental project.

She said that from 2016 to date four people had been punished, two nationals and two Asians, whose nationalities she had been unable to specify, for trafficking shark fins.

In relation to the complaint over the last few weeks, Albertina Nzunzi said that the teams were still on the ground investigating, but so far no offenders had been detected.

According to the INBAC director, the blue shark is the species that is being wiped out, adding that with the suspicions of this environmental crime that had been taking place since 2016, investigations have been carried out, but “no one has ever been caught fishing.

“Our concern now is to intensify this monitoring,” stressed Albertina Nzunzi, lamenting the light penalties for environmental crimes.

The proposal from the Ministry for Culture, Tourism and the Environment is for sentences to be increased from four to ten years in prison in the Angolan Penal Code.