Whale Sharks Are Being Slaughtered in China

Other sharks are not enthused.

Just when Chinese sharks thought it was safe to go back into the water thanks to shifting cultural attitudes toward consuming shark-fin soup, for the most part here's disturbing news that one species is being slaughtered en masse: Up to 600 whale sharks, which are gentle filter-feeders classified by the IUCN as a "vulnerable" species, have been illegally "slaughtered annually for their stomach, lips, cartilage, oil and fins" since 2010, according to a new report. Sinosphere reports that carcasses can fetch up to $31,000 apiece, with organs, flesh, and skin being put into everything from food to supplements. Whale sharks, along with basking and great white sharks which the report asserts are also being slaughtered are protected species in China. [Sinosphere/NYT, Earlier]