Unpunished Environmental Crime in Pakistan

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A massive whale shark caught and entangled in a net laid down by the fishermen in deep sea was shifted to the Karachi fish harbour.(Source:pakistantoday.com.pk)

On 31 Dec, a massive whale shark, that was caught and entangled in a net laid down by fishermen in the deep sea and was to be shifted to the Karachi fish harbour for sale, never reached the harbour. According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Technical Director Moazzam Ali Khan, “The poached animal was allegedly cut into pieces and was either hidden somewhere or mixed with other fish meat so that it couldn’t be traced”. The Express Tribune

According to sources, whale sharks are killed so that their fins can be sold in China and other countries where its fins and meat are used to manufacture medicines. Whale sharks are killed to make money. Pakistan Today

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Technical Director, “the species of the shark which was found dead is facing extinction and its hunting is illegal. He informed that laws are available in this regard in both the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. He also said, that there is no truth about the news that the fins and meat of whale sharks are in high demand all over the world. The meat of whale shark is not sold for more than Rs12 per kilo”. Further he added, “The whale shark is not only found in Pakistani waters, but they also breed in Pakistani waters. In the light of the dangers faced by the whale shark, the WWF had trained fishermen in 2013, due to which around 75 whale sharks had been freed from the net and have been released into the sea during the past five years”. Such News

Environmental crime is the world’s fourth largest criminal enterprise. Over the years, environmental crimes in Pakistan have massively increased and one of the reasons behind it is the prevalent practice of not giving stiff sentences for environmental crimes. The federal and the provincial government must take immediate notice on the death of the shark and those involved in this incident must be penalized so that the marine life facing extinction can be protected.

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