Dead Sharks in Holbox   Leave a comment

Taking a compulsory day off from filming Whale Sharks I wandered the streets of Holbox today with Eli until we came upon a devastating sight. A truck pulled up with an enormous Tiger Shark hanging limply over the end of the flatbed. It was so long that it’s tail dragged along the dirt road as the truck moved forward. We estimated it to be around 12-13ft long and easily 600lb. After talking to the locals we were able to find out where it was being taken and we intercepted the truck in a boat yard where the fishermen were in the process of packing the carcass in ice for the trip to Cancun where a shark fin dealer called ‘El Coyote’ would purchase it and export it’s fins to the Far East. The fishermen were reluctant to talk to us but they allowed us to film their work and even posed over the monster they had conquered. It was exceptionally sad to see such a magnificent animal reduced to soup stock, fish chunks, and fertilizer.

Returning to the beach we witnessed many more sharks being hauled in, mostly juveniles that had not reached maturity and therefore could not possibly have left little sharks as a legacy before they were ripped from the ocean.

I have wanted to photograph dead sharks for some time in order to illustrate the articles that I write about over-fishing but now that I have finally seen the carcasses of sharks floating in the surf I wish that I could erase the images from my mind as though the opportunity had never arisen. One long-line shark fisherman told us that he brings in about four sharks a day. They are usually juvenile Bull and Tiger Sharks in the 4-6ft range. He has agreed to let us film his work tomorrow so hopefully we will be able to capture the whole process on tape and use it to stop the carnage.

Follow this link to see the disturbing pictures of the dead sharks

For the sharks,

Andy Murch

Host of

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