Parts from Endangered Species Used as Fishing Lures

Photo: KimCarpenter NJ / cc

What could be worse than buying and selling parts from some of the world's most endangered species? Using those parts as means to capture and kill more animals, perhaps? Authorities in Finland are currently investigating several tackle-shops after suspicion arose that they were selling fishing lures made up of endangered animals -- like fur from polar bears, and feathers from protected parrots and pheasants.According to a report from the Helsingin Sanomat, parts from endangered animals, like polar bears, grey junglefowl, as well as a variety of other birds, are thought to have been used to make fishing lures sold by tackle shops in Finland.

The Finnish Customs suspect that a sizable amount of parts of endangered animals have ended up on sale in Finnish online stores and fishing tackle shops.
The Customs announced on Tuesday that they are looking into a tangle of criminal activities related to endangered animals.
The case under investigation relates to the illegal sale of animal parts, such as hair and feathers, for example through online stores, for the purpose of tying fly-fishing lures.
The Customs have looked into the goings-on with stores selling fly-fishing equipment from Helsinki to Rovaniemi.

"We have found necks of a few hundred grey junglefowls," said Seppo Makitalo, head of the Customs investigation, referring to the endangered bird, native to India. "When it comes to parts of other animals, it is difficult to give exact figures, as, for example, the skins have been cut into little pieces."

Investigators suspect that the dealers likely purchased the animal parts online from vendors in India, but that many anglers who ended up purchasing the lures were unaware of their unseemly origins. If convicted of nature conservation offenses, those selling the endangered species' parts face fines and up to two years in jail.

It is unclear why the fur or feathers of those endangered animals would be superior to those acquired from species not facing the threat of extinction.

Follow me on Twitter or Facebook.
More on Trading in Endangered Species
Using Endangered Species To Toughen Climate Change Legislation
Lego Artisan Creates Endangered Species for Zoo
American Pika Denied Endangered Species Protection

Tags: Endangered Species | Finland

Best of TreeHugger