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DIEGO (AP) - Seven people have been charged in a scheme to sell the bladders
of an endangered Mexican fish considered a delicacy for use in Chinese soup,
federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The bladders from the totoaba
(toe-TWAH-bah) fish can sell for more than $10,000 in some countries, the U.S. attorney's
office said. Further details on the case were not immediately released.
The bladders are coveted just like
shark fins in a different Asian soup.
The giant totoaba fish live
exclusively in Mexico's Sea of Cortez,
where they are illegally captured with gillnets when they migrate to shallow
Also known as Mexican giant bass or
giant croaker, the fish can measure up to 7 feet long and weigh more than 200
pounds. The cream-colored, leathery bladders alone measure up to 3 feet.
The totoaba has been protected under
the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species since 1976 and was
added to the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1979. Commercial fishing is also
prohibited in Mexico.
The totoaba population began to
plummet in the 1940s after construction of the Hoover Dam in the U.S. limited the flow of Colorado River water
Totoaba spawned near the mouth of the river.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.)
Investigators say an Algiers man shot and killed a masked robber who held him and his wife at gunpoint. The incident happened just before 10 p.m. Wednesday in the 1800 block of West Homestead Drive. Policemore>>
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Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
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