Dear all, with Agent K and volunteers working for our illegal trade team we can now reveal that we, in cooperation with the Wildlife Crime Unit (WCU) from Devon and Cornwall Police have just stopped a shop in Brixham, Devon from selling dead seahorses. After a tip-off from one of our amazing volunteers, we reported to the WCU that this Shop in Brixham was selling dried, dead seahorses. The WCU reacted very quickly and raided the shop, recovering 10,000 plus dead seahorses, sea moths, a shark, shark bits, a crocodile, coral and a number of other species.
We then acted as the experts with others to identify the seahorses and others species and last week it went to court. The outcome was partially successful in that the shop owner was cautioned and the CITES-listed species (all the seahorses) were confiscated. Sadly the shop owner was not fined or jailed and he kept the non-CITES species but we truly hope this is a wake-up call for him and others in this trade.
There are so many shops (including others in Brixham that we are watching) that participate in this horrendous trade and we are launching our Stop the Curio Trade Campaign soon to try and stop this trade and educate others about it.
All around our coastline and inland are shops selling a wide variety of curios (marine and terrestrial) which the public think are legal to buy because they are on sale, when in fact like the seahorses they are illegal to sell and buy.
We would like to thank the officers involved in the WCU (who we will not name for obvious reasons) especially for their incredibly quick response. All of this at a time when the WCU is being closed down and/or restricted to one officer for the whole of the Devon and Cornwall area, which is shocking. Wildlife Crime here in the South West and the rest of the country is rising rapidly and I encourage you to write to the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police and ask him to change his mind over this.
After our success with E-bay and now this prosecution please keep an eye out for our Stop the Curio Trade coming in the next few months and thank you so much to everyone involved.