Fishermen involved in butchering and selling a dolphin on a Zhuhai street will face prosecution, authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province have said.
Local police summoned three fishermen for investigation last month following the circulation of bloody pictures of a butchered and carved-up baby dolphin on the internet.
Citing test results from Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University, the Guangdong Administration of Ocean and Fisheries announced on Monday that the dead animal was a Chinese white dolphin.
Chinese white dolphins are a Class I species under national protection – it is illegal to hunt, kill, sell or buy them under the 1988 Law on the Conservation of Wild Animals.
“The sellers shall face criminal responsibility,” said the administration.
Head in a styrofoam box
Photos circulating on Chinese social media channel Weibo last month showed the dolphin’s torso being split open and carved up by workers on a street, with its head in a styrofoam box nearby.
According to screenshots of a conversation between the resident who reported the incident and the Weibo community group manager, the dolphin meat was selling for only RMB 10 (HK$11) for half a kilogram.
The fishermen claimed the dolphin was already dead when they found it floating in the sea, and thus decided to sell and eat its meat.