Totoaba bladder smuggling PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 April 2013 08:22

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(It is illegal to fish for Totoaba)…It is even more illegal to bring the endangered species across the border. Or even bring parts of the fish across the border. Totoaba is found in the Sea of Cortez and has been placed on the endangered list, not only in the United States, but in Mexico, as well. Federal Prosecutors say they have charged 7 people since February with engaging in the lucrative smuggling trade of Totoaba Bladders. The Bladders can bring in as much as $10,000 on the black market. They are used in a Chinese Soup, and are prized for their supposed benefits for boosting fertility, skin vitality and circulation. The latest to be caught is 73-year-old Song Shen Zhen. He was arrested last week at the Calexico Port of Entry trying to smuggle 27 Totoaba Bladders into the United States. Investigators later found a stash house with 214 bladders spread out under the floor of an otherwise empty house. The value of the haul was set at $3.6 million. Federal officials say the arrests since February indicate a spike in the unusual and illegal smuggling activity. They say that is troubling.