Saturday, February 6, 2010

140 kg Endangered Bahaba fish sold for over US$500,000

A +50 year old Bahaba fish was caught on the 2nd of February in the South China Sea by fishermen. The rare fish measured 1.5 meters long & 0.5 meter wide and weighted 140kg. This species of fish, endemic to China, is classified as a Class II protected animal in this country, meaning that it is at a high risk of extinction. Fishermen in the region are complaining that they catch more floating garbage than fish in their nets, making this catch even rarer.

Although the Bahaba is critically endangered, Chinese medicine recognizes that its swim bladders are meant to give special power to those who consume it. It does indeed contain protein, fat and colloidal substances, but it won’t magically fix your liver or kidney like some people may think.

Despite being an endangered species, caught individuals are usually sold at very high prices. The fish swim bladders this time weighed over 3 pounds and the head 43 pounds, both valued to over US$500,000. Three people from a fishing company in the city of Yueqing have bought the fish for the record sum of US$505,307. This is more expensive than gold and therefore represents a tremendous revenue to those fishermen.

Now think about this, a 50 year old fish that could be one of the last individuals of its species is caught. But instead of being released like any wise person would do (those fishermen knew the fish was endangered), personal greed is stronger. And Chinese medicine, as wrong as it seems, keeps on dictating the rules of what lives and what doesn’t.

Article from Shxb.Net (Chinese)
Chinese Bahaba Wikipedia article
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