The shark fin industry has ramifications in almost all the coastal countries of the world, including the Galápagos Islands, which is today perhaps the 'Latin capital' of the shark finning industry. In Brazil there are ramifications from Pará to Rio Grande do Sul.

"The lack of appropriate government monitoring and of predatory fishing practices in Rio Grande do Sul allows these practices, which is an attempt against all marine biodiversity," comments Sebastián Diano, president of the South Coast Institute.

Alerted to the environmental damage being caused by the insatiable exploration for ever-greater profits and blatant disregard to the law, Sea Shepherd Brazil received privileged information regarding the shark fin black market. The owner of Dom Matos Ltda. in Rio Grande is in fact a representative of another company headquartered in Sao Paulo and has had numerous other companies under his name. The objective of such tactics is to confuse law enforcement agencies by opening and closing new businesses as a facade.

"We are the Robin Hood of the seas, as the character created by William Langland, who stole from the rich to give to the poor; we seek to retake from those that have stolen the ocean riches and give back to our brothers of the sea, which hold the same rights by law as the Brazilian citizens," said Daniel Vairo, general director of Sea Shepherd in Brazil.

Illegally obtained shark fins from the 3.3 tons confiscated by IBAMA:

shark fins

shark fins

shark fins

Photos Credit: Gerson Pataleao