BC herbal medicine company fined $75,000 for importing protected shark fins

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The company imported a shipment of 22 bags of processed shark fins in September 2017, which were declared as fish bones, according to a statement from Environment Canada.

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VANCOUVER — The federal government says a herbal medicine company pleaded guilty in Vancouver provincial court to a charge of illegally importing a protected shark species without a permit.

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Environment and Climate Change Canada says in a press release that Hang Hing Herbal Medicine Ltd. was fined $75,000 for importing an endangered species without a permit.

The statement said the company imported a shipment of 22 bags of processed shark fins in September 2017, which were declared as fish bones.

The Canada Border Services Agency noted that the shipment contained wildlife products and passed it on to law enforcement officers.

The department said DNA testing later determined that some of the fins belonged to the endangered oceanic whitetip shark and no import permit was obtained.

The government says the fine will go to the Canadian Environmental Damages Fund, which supports projects that benefit the environment.

It says there are 400 species of sharks worldwide and many populations are under threat, largely due to unsustainable fishing practices and high demand from the international fin trade.

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