Dried seahorses, shark fins seized in airport busts

Dried seahorses, typically used to make powdered medicines, have been seized at Hong Kong International Airport in a Customs bust.

A quarantine detector dog found the batch of seahorses as part of a joint Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation and Customs and Excise Departments operation against the illegal import of endangered species.

The 9kg package was found at the airport mail centre in an airmail parcel without relevant permits.

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Seahorses are listed in Appendix II to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and are regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance.

The import, export, re-export or possession of specimens of Appendix II species not in accordance with the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance is an offence.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for one year.


Meanwhile, Customs seized about 16kgs of suspected dried shark fins of Sphyrnidae, an endangered species at the airport yesterday.

Customs officers intercepted a 20-year-old man, arriving in Hong Kong from Mozambique via Johannesburg, South Africa.

The suspected dried shark fins were found inside his check-in baggage.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.

Pictures: Hong Kong Customs

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