Take Two for April 29, 2013

CA authorities catch multimillion-dollar fish bladder smuggling ring

Smuggled Fish Bladders

HOPD/AP

This March 2013 image provided by the U.S. attorney's Office shows Totoaba bladders displayed at a U.S. border crossing in downtown Calexico, Mexico. Seven people have been charged in a scheme to sell the bladders of an endangered Mexican fish considered a delicacy for use in Chinese soup, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.

We've heard of poachers hunting rhinos for their horns and elephants for their tusks, but now in southern California, they're going after a fish called the totoaba for their bladders.

Last week, federal agents seized over 200 of these bladders from a home in Calexico. On the black market, they could have fetched as much as $3.6 milllion.

We called up Jill Birchell from the office of Law Enforcement with US Fish and Wildlife Service to find out what this fish is and why it's in such high demand.


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