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May 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 5   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the May, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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First Shark Fins, Now Fish Bladders. Bladders from totoaba fish, which live exclusively in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, are a favorite Asian soup ingredient, so a growing international practice of smuggling them is on the rise. U.S. border inspectors in Calexico have seized 529 bladders since February that they believe were destined for China and Hong Kong. Also known as Mexican giant bass or giant croaker, the totoaba can measure up to seven feet long and weigh more than 200 pounds. The leathery bladders alone measure up to three feet, and are sold for up to $20,000 each, while the fish carcasses left to rot on shore. The totaba is considered an endangered species, but Asians believe their bladders improve skin, blood circulation and fertility, and thus they want them in their soup....


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