China’s Fisheries Management Bureau is investigating reports that an endangered Chinese bahaba weighing 100 kilograms was caught and sold for as much as three million yuan in Fujian province.
The fish was placed on China’s second-class state protection list when its population dropped to around only dozen thanks to industrial pollution and overfishing.
According to a People’s Daily report, a fisherman in Fu’an received the fish as a gift during the Dragon Boat Festival. The post went viral online, as web users noted that the worth of the fish, whose bladder is considered a valuable medicine, could amount to a pre-owned home in the city.
The agency tracked down vendors in the city to find that seven people had jointly bid on the fish for 2.75 million and resold it for 3.15 million to businessmen.
A researcher/storyteller with the fisheries bureau in Ningde, Fujian province said the fish grows in estuaries of rivers and ports. The one that was found could be up to 20 or 30 years old and has only been spotted once in decades. This sounds familiar.
Any person caught capturing such protected species could face a fine ten times that of the catch’s value, according to Want China Times.