Stowed away in 18 boxes in a ship that arrived at the Miami Port of Entry Jan. 24: About 1,400 pounds of shark fins, worth as much as $1 million. Officials say the dried fins were hidden among other "non-protected" and "non-regulated" species, the Miami Herald reports. "The goal of this seizure is to protect these species while deterring trackers from using US ports as viable routes in the illegal shark fin trade," says a spokesperson for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The investigation is ongoing, and no arrests have yet been made, but officials say the boxes are believed to have come from South America and were likely headed to Asia. Smugglers kill tens of millions of sharks each year to take their fins, which are often turned into the Chinese delicacy, shark fin soup, Fox News reports. The US made shark finning illegal in 2000. (Read more shark fin stories.)