A couple has been caught with 820kg of dolphin meat in Yunlin County this week, for which they have been arrested and charged with violating the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法), the Yunlin District Prosecutors’ Office said.
Prosecutors in Yunlin County directed the investigation by the Coast Guard Administration’s Reconnaissance Brigade, as they searched several locations in Yunlin’s Shueilin (水林) and Sihhu (四湖) townships earlier this week.
According to the office, investigators found that the suspects, a fishmonger surnamed Huang (黃) and his wife, had 820kg of dolphin meat in their possession on Wednesday.
The couple is suspected of illegally slaughtering dolphins and selling the meat.
An official said the fishmonger couple has been making a good profit from the dolphin meat. They rented a warehouse to freeze and store the meat, and drove a truck with a freezer unit around Yunlin County to offer their wares to customers.
As dolphins are a protected species under the Wildlife Conservation Act, the couple was arrested and taken into custody.
Huang on Wednesday allegedly admitted that he had 1 tonne of dolphin meat, and had already sold 200kg of it during the day.
Prosecutors said that those charged with killing dolphins and trading dolphin meat can be sentenced to between six months and five years in jail, which could be commuted to fines between NT$300,000 and NT$1.5 million (between US$10,200 and US$51,000).
The fishmonger couple allegedly said they had bought the meat from suppliers at NT$200 per kilogram, and had it sold to restaurants and street food vendors around Yunlin and Chiayi counties for NT$400 per kilogram, prosecutors said.