TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Yilan County Coast Guard officials arrested a man, surnamed Pan (潘), after finding 1,372 kg of dolphin meat in his freezer in Yilan County on Wednesday, June 6.
Pan allegedly said he planned to sell the meat. Killing dolphins, as well as selling or buying the meat is illegal in Taiwan, with laws and serious punishments being strictly enforced.
The dolphin meat was found after Coast Guard officers began following a suspicious vehicle, which led them to search Pan's home near the Nanfang-ao (南方澳) Harbor of Yilan's Su-ao Township (蘇澳鎮).
The contraband had already been butchered and divided into 50 plastic bags.
The head of the Coast Guard's Seventh Squad said that it was very uncommon to seize such a large quantity of illegal meat. Authorities usually confiscate around 100 kg or 1-2 fins, reported San-li News Agency.
Some people think dolphin meat has healing properties and is good for one's health.
Dolphins are a protected species in Taiwan. The maximum penalty for killing the mammal is a five-year prison sentence and a NT$1 million (US$33,552) fine.
The maximum punishment for buying or selling dolphin meat is a five-year prison sentence and a NT$1.5 million (US$50,328) fine.