Shark Fin Trade in Taiwan, Province of China - Press Photos and B-Roll

  • October 19, 2011

The following photos and b-roll are available for media use with related content ONLY.

B-Roll

B-Roll of shark fin trade in Taiwan, Province of China, China, and Hong Kong is available for press use upon request. 

Please contact Kymberly Escobar, 202.887.8814, for access.

Press Photos

To download, click on the thumbnails below to open a high resolution version of the images. All photos must be properly credited.

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 2 – 3 MB

 

Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 1 - 2 MB

 

Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 3 – 2 MB

   

The shark fishery in Taiwan, Province of China is not limited to longlining fleets fishing in international waters, local boats are also landing sharks in Taiwan. Pictured here is a fisher's catch of sharks along with mahi mahi.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

Longline vessels at port near the Tung Kang Fish Market in Kaohsiung (Gāoxióng). Taiwan, Province of China has the world's second largest longline fishing fleet. Vessels may go to sea from nine months to several years at a time, with some of the catches being sent back to Taiwan, Province of China via containers on refueling ships or “reefers.”
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

A common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus) with its dorsal fin cut off. Common threshers are valued for their meat, livers, hides, and fins. These sharks have a nine month gestation period, with reproductive rates of only 3-4 pups per year, and as such are biologically threatened by even moderate levels of exploitation. Common threshers are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

 

Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 4 – 4 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 5 – 2 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 6 – 2 MB

    
Shark carcasses, also known in the fishing industry as “logs”, are offloaded at a processing warehouse.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Over 40 shark carcasses being unloaded off trucks at a processing warehouse.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) carcasses. A 2006 study found that scalloped and smooth hammerheads (Sphyrna zygaena) represented at least four to five percent of the fins auctioned in Hong Kong, one of the  world's largest traders in shark products.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
     

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 7 – 2 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 8 – 4 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 9 – 3 MB

    
Hammerhead sharks are targeted, and greatly valued for their fins. A 2009 study in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean found that hammerheads have had a 70% decline in abundance since 1981.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Bags of shark fins. In 2009 the fishing trawler from Taiwan, Province of China, Chien Jiu 102, was seized at Cape Town harbor, South Africa with 1.6 tons of dried shark fins.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Truckload of small frozen shark “logs.” Sharks are commonly caught at sea, frozen on industrial factory-vessels, and delivered to plants such as the one pictured, for processing and distribution.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
     

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 10 – 4 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 11 – 4 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 12 – 2 MB

     
Shark “logs” of a variety of sizes and species. Removal of sharks can cause shifts in marine ecosystems, inducing a cascade of indirect effects that can result in changes in the abundance of other organisms.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
Shark carcasses, also known in the fishing industry as “logs”, are offloaded at a processing warehouse.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
A common thresher (Alopias vulpinus)  and a scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini). A 2006 FAO review of the status of highly migratory pelagic species found thresher sharks to be fully exploited or overexploited globally.  Unlike common threshers, hammerheads are targeted primarily for their fins, as their meat is difficult to process due to its high urea content.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
     

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 13 – 3 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 14 – 3 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 15 – 2 MB

    
An assortment of shark fins. From 1985 to 1998, shark fin imports to Hong Kong and Taiwan, Province of China increased by more than 214 percent and 42 percent, respectively;  and between 1991 and 2000, trade in shark fins in the Chinese market grew by six percent a year.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 It is estimated that between 1.3 and 2.7 million smooth and scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini) are captured for the shark fin trade each year.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 Scalloped hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini) are listed as globally Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
    

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 16 – 1 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 17 – 2 MB

 

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 18 – 3 MB

    
Sharks pups still in placental membranes. Most sharks are late to mature and have relatively few offspring, leading to their vulnerability to dramatic population declines.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 An illustration of the scale of this industry – frozen shark fins moved by front-end loader.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 Shark fins are considered one of the most valuable food items in the world, reaching pries as high as US$700 per kg.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
    

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 19 – 4 MB

 

 Shark Fin Trade 20 – 4 MB

 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 21 – 4 MB
   
Cleaning and processing of shark fins. Between 30 and 73 million sharks are killed each year to supply the global trade in shark fins.
Photo Credit: Paul Hilton for the Pew Environment Group
 Processing shark fins. Between 2005 and 2009, Taiwan, Province of China exported 65,000 tons of shark meat products, including 3,480 tons of dried, frozen, and canned fins.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 

The minimum value of the global shark fin trade has been estimated at $400 million to $550 million a year.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

    
Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 22 – 1 MB   Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 23 – 2 MB   Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 24 – 3 MB
    

Kaohsiung is a major hub for importing shark fins, sold at high prices in the restaurants and shops of Taiwan, Province of China and China. Fins are brought in from the docks and placed out to dry in the sun on rooftops near the port.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

 

Shark fins drying in the sun in Kaohsiung before processing. 30 percent of the world's shark species are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

 

Many of these fins come from pelagic shark species. According to the IUCN, over 50 percent of pelagic sharks are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

    
 Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 25 – 4 MB   Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 26 – 4 MB   Taiwan Shark Fin Trade 27 – 3 MB
     
Fisheries for sharks are largely unregulated; there are almost no limits on the number of sharks which can be caught by fishing fleets on the high seas. With an average annual catch of 48,000 tons, Taiwan, Province of China is responsible for nearly six percent of the reported global catch of sharks both for trade and domestic uses.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 This picture of over 3,500 shark fins provides a snapshot of a tiny percentage of the estimated 30 to 73 million sharks killed every year to supply the global shark fin industry.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group
 Sharks cannot survive the magnitude of the commercial extraction that these photos represent.
Photo Credit: Shawn Heinrichs for the Pew Environment Group

 

 

Topics: Oceans, Environment