By Xochitl Bott, Marketing –
Shark fins are a delicacy in many countries — and the poaching of certain sharks is illegal. A crew trying to export their stash found that out the hard way in Hawaii, USA.
In 2018, the fishing vessel M.V. Kyoshin Maru No. 20 from Japan was fishing for tuna in the Southern Pacific Ocean for about a year when they travelled to Hawaii. The international crew was a mix of Indonesian and Japanese nationals, the Indonesians being the fishermen and the Japanese being the officers. At the Honolulu International Airport, the fishermen were legally trying to leave Hawaii, but ten of the men had shark fins hidden among their luggage. They were valued to be $57,850 if sold on the black market. Many of the shark fins were from endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, where Japan, United States, and Indonesia were listed as parties. They, along with many other countries, promised not to fish endangered species.
Both the United States and Japan conducted their own investigations into the Kyoshin Maru and eventually her host company, Hamada Suisan Co. Ltd. In the United States, the company was sentenced to pay a fine of $126,000, forfeit $119,000, and have a probation of three years with the United States. This is the biggest penalty ever in a federal shark finning case in the United States. The fishing license given to the Kyoshin Maru in Japan must also be relinquished. In Japan, a penalty was placed on the Kyoshin Maru, forbidding it from being operated until it was sold. No other charges were filed in Japan.
Although there are many international treaties that regulate shark finning, there are those that do not enforce them. Not all companies have the means to always regulate their employees, as seen in this example. This fishing boat was out at sea for a year. Who knows if the company knew that this fishing boat was illegally fishing sharks? But recently there is a new technology helping companies stop scenarios like this from happening, and it’s called EyeDetect®.
EyeDetect is a new lie detector that is meant to help companies stop illegal activities from occurring within them. In a 30-minute test, a camera studies the involuntary movements in the eyes to determine if someone is lying. These tests have an accuracy rate of at least 85% and that rate goes up depending on the test. It’s cheaper than a polygraph test, much faster and more convenient for companies.
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