The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Monday that wildfire inspectors seized approximately 1,400 lbs. of dried shark fins from a Miami port.
The estimated total value of the contraband is between $700,000 and $1 million.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the shipment was falsely labeled and found in 18 boxes on Jan. 24.
The haul violated the Lacey Act, which outlaws the illegal trade of wildlife, and the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). Sharks are protected under CITES.
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Officials believe the sharks were caught in South America and were likely headed to Asia where shark fins are popular for their alleged medicinal properties.
“The goal of this seizure is to protect these species while deterring trackers from using U.S. ports as viable routes in the illegal shark fin trade,” said Christina Meister, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.