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Shark Poaching On the Rise in Raja Ampat
By Joseph Tepper, May 11, 2012 @ 09:00 AM (EST)
Source: Jakarta Post

Disturbing reports out of Raja Ampat tell of rampant shark finning and showdowns between poachers and local authorities.

Earlier this week, seven shark finning boats escaped authorities hunting them down in the pristine Indonesian dive destination, according to reports from Conservation International Indonesia. This comes just two weeks after residents of Salyo and Selpele villages and sailors from the Navy base at Waisai captured 33 poachers with over $100,000 in fins.

“This is the third case since 2005 and it’s the biggest,” said Ketut Sarjana Putra, director of Conservation International (CI) Indonesia. “The shark population has recovered but with the hunts, they are at risk again.”

Shark finning in Raja was outlawed in 2005, but conservation agencies estimate that poaching costs the local tourism industry over $1 million every year.

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