MALPELO NATIONAL PARK (COLOMBIA)- The Colombian Navy arrested five Costa Rican fishermen accused of illegally catching sharks in its territory.

The five men were detained in the Malpelo National Park, a UNESCO protected area of the Pacific Ocean, where the illegal slaughter of 2,000 sharks by Costa Rican crews recently drew international condemnation from Colombian government officials.The Malpelo National Park covers more than 5,000 square miles of ocean and provides a habitat for threatened marine species – in particular sharks.

Shark finning
The sharks are commonly “finned”, meaning their fins are removed and the animals left to die in the ocean. The fins are highly lucrative in the Asian market, where they are bought to be used for soup. The soup can fetch almost $100 per bowl in a Hong Kong restaurant.

The Costa Rican men were arrested with ‘an amount of fish yet to be determined, including tuna, mahi-mahi and shark.’

The detention comes three months after an Ecuadorian ship was detained in nearby waters carrying over 660lbs of illegally caught shark and other species.

Read more at Colombia Reports