A Factory in China Is Slaughtering Endangered Whale Sharks

A Chinese non-profit wildlife organization exposed what they believe to be the largest whale shark-processing factory in the world

A scene from the whale shark processing factory, where the endangered species are turned into meat, medicinal supplements and cosmetics. Photo: Wildlife Riskl

A Hong Kong-based non-profit organization called WildLifeRisk just exposed what it calls "the world's largest slaughtering facility for whale sharks," an endangered species. The facility, operating near the southeastern Chinese city of Wenzhou, processes an estimated 600 whale sharks each year, WildLifeRisk reports. The animals' parts and oils are used to make cosmetics, processed as traditional Chinese medicine, turned into leather and served in shark fin soup, according to the report. 

The factory, which goes by the name "China Wenzhou Yueqing Marine Organisms Health Protection Foods Co Ltd," relies on middle men who source the 20 ton animals, which can fetch up to $30,000 each, says Business Insider. The sharks are caught off the coast of China during yearly migrations, WildLifeRisk found duirng its three year investigation. 

The non-profit also put together this footage, compiled from clips of undercover interviews with the whale shark company's general manager: 

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