More than 40 dead dolphins found in farm freezer
15th May 2002
Investigators have found dozens of dead dolphins in a raid on a farm in Taiwan.
Two suspects have been accused of illegally selling dolphin meat.
Between 40 to 50 dolphins were found in a freezer at the farm in Yunlin County.
TVBS cable news showed investigators lugging the frozen dolphins out of the freezer and stacking them on the ground. Some of the creatures were already carved up, and the meat was carefully packed in white boxes. Investigators dumped several dolphin heads in a pile of cut up carcasses.
Authorities arrested a 67-year-old man, Wu Wan-jiau, and his wife, Hsu Shu-nu, the semiofficial Central News Agency reports. Hsu says her husband is innocent and that the dolphins belonged to her, the report says.
But investigators say Wu, who has been caught dealing dolphins before, had tried to sell the meat to a businessman in March 2002.
The two suspects are being detained and were not immediately available for comment.
Because dolphins are a protected species in Taiwan, those who illegally hunt them can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison.
Seafood is a staple in the Taiwanese diet, and people enjoy sampling all kinds of creatures from the sea, including dolphins - which in Mandarin are called "haitun" or "sea pigs." Dolphin meat is sometimes sold in coastal fish markets.