U.S. prosecutors in Hawaii are accusing the owners and officers of a Japanese fishing boat of helping Indonesian fishermen smuggle nearly 1,000 shark fins, worth about $58,000 on the black market.

Boat owners Hamada Suisan Co. Ltd. and JF Zengyoren, or Japan Fisheries Cooperatives in English, are charged with aiding and abetting the smuggling. Ten fishermen have been charged with smuggling.

This Nov. 28, 2018 photo provided by the United States Attorney's Office and introduced as evidence in court in Honolulu shows some of the hundreds of shark fins seized from a Japanese fishing boat. (U.S. Attorney's Office via AP)
This Nov. 28, 2018 photo provided by the United States Attorney’s Office and introduced as evidence in court in Honolulu shows some of the hundreds of shark fins seized from a Japanese fishing boat. (U.S. Attorney’s Office via AP)

A Hamada representative in Japan said Friday that the Indonesian crew members had shark fins without the captain’s knowledge.

JF Zengyoren declined to comment, saying it hadn’t seen the complaint.

This Nov. 28, 2018 photo provided by the United States Attorney's Office and introduced as evidence in court in Honolulu shows some of the hundreds of shark fins seized from a Japanese fishing boat. (U.S. Attorney's Office via AP)
This Nov. 28, 2018 photo provided by the United States Attorney’s Office and introduced as evidence in court in Honolulu shows some of the hundreds of shark fins seized from a Japanese fishing boat. (U.S. Attorney’s Office via AP)

It’s against U.S. law to remove the fins of sharks at sea. Prosecutors say the fishermen harvested fins from some sharks that were still alive and then discarded in the ocean.

Fins are a pricey delicacy often used in soups.

Source: The Associated Press

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