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Chinese Fisherman Sells Highly Endangered Species for $473K

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August 22, 2012

Chinese Fisherman Sells Highly Endangered Species for $473K

By Chad Love

In the struggle between being critically endangered and hugely profitable, guess which one wins? Uh, I'll take hugely profitable for a thousand, Trebek...

From this story on businessinsider.com:
A Chinese fisherman has netted a fortune after catching a critically endangered, but hugely prized, fish worth £300,000 (That's about $473,000 to us Yanks...). The fisherman, whose identity has not been revealed, caught a Chinese Bahaba, or Giant Yellow Croaker, off the coast of Fujian province last week. After a bidding war, a local fishmonger paid him three million yuan (£300,000) for the 176lb fish, or £1,700 a pound, according to the Strait News, a local newspaper in Fujian.

The fisherman told the newspaper he had found the fish floating on the surface of the sea and had "picked it up." The size of the fish caught the attention of his fellow villagers, and the specimen was quickly identified. After the auction, the fisherman said he would use the windfall to buy a bigger boat.

According to the story, the Chinese Bahaba is prized mostly for its swim bladder, which is apparently used by traditional Chinese doctors to cure heart and lung ailments. But like pretty much everything else used in traditional medicines around the world, the bahaba has been fished almost to extinction, and those populations not wiped out by over harvesting have been mostly destroyed by that slight industrial pollution problem that China has.

So how valuable is the bahaba, which can grow to almost seven feet and over 200 pounds? Two years ago, one sold for even more than this one at over a half-million bucks. Which makes you wonder what the very last bahaba might be worth. If this fisherman did in fact find the prized fish, is anything ethically out of place here?

 

Comments (9)

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Considering a doctor in China makes the equivalent of $20,000/year, it would be difficult for a fisherman to turn down that kind of cash.

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from Red Salas wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

The almighty dollar

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Education is what's out of place here. There's no science proving that the swim bladder of this fish actually cures heart and lung diseases, and since they are so rare, there never will be anything proving otherwise. There's all kinds of "ancient oriental remedies" that have absolutely no scientific backing, but there's plenty of literature on the "placebo" effect, if you get my drift.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Planet Society wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Last week Field & Stream featured an endangered tiger shark that was killed to win the Outcast Mega Shark Tournament in Pensacola. It appears that you will tolerate the killing of endangered species, but only by Americans.

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from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Actually Blue Planet, the IUCN classify's the tiger shark as near threatened, which falls into their lower risk category. The biggest risk to tiger sharks is finning, something I don't believe happens in the Gulf of Mexico very often. It is not protected under the U.S. Endangered species act.

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from GERG wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Seems to me that Asian culture is where alot of endangered or highly valued animals and parts go i.e. bear gall bladders, bluefin tuna etc? just saying this is my personal obsevrvation. Please dont take this as racist in any way.

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from Fat guy Aaron wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Everything is ethically out of place in china.

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from blackjac wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Did he catch it or found it "floating" dead or alive ???

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from kingofbirds wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Seems to me that Asian culture is where alot of endangered or highly valued animals and parts go i.e. bear gall bladders, bluefin tuna etc? www.vogo-tec.com just saying this is my personal obsevrvation. Please dont take this as racist in any way.

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from GERG wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Seems to me that Asian culture is where alot of endangered or highly valued animals and parts go i.e. bear gall bladders, bluefin tuna etc? just saying this is my personal obsevrvation. Please dont take this as racist in any way.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Education is what's out of place here. There's no science proving that the swim bladder of this fish actually cures heart and lung diseases, and since they are so rare, there never will be anything proving otherwise. There's all kinds of "ancient oriental remedies" that have absolutely no scientific backing, but there's plenty of literature on the "placebo" effect, if you get my drift.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Actually Blue Planet, the IUCN classify's the tiger shark as near threatened, which falls into their lower risk category. The biggest risk to tiger sharks is finning, something I don't believe happens in the Gulf of Mexico very often. It is not protected under the U.S. Endangered species act.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

Considering a doctor in China makes the equivalent of $20,000/year, it would be difficult for a fisherman to turn down that kind of cash.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Salas wrote 1 year 34 weeks ago

The almighty dollar

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Fat guy Aaron wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Everything is ethically out of place in china.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackjac wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Did he catch it or found it "floating" dead or alive ???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kingofbirds wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Seems to me that Asian culture is where alot of endangered or highly valued animals and parts go i.e. bear gall bladders, bluefin tuna etc? www.vogo-tec.com just saying this is my personal obsevrvation. Please dont take this as racist in any way.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Blue Planet Society wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

Last week Field & Stream featured an endangered tiger shark that was killed to win the Outcast Mega Shark Tournament in Pensacola. It appears that you will tolerate the killing of endangered species, but only by Americans.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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