Trapped shark rescued from fin soup

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A pregnant shark was saved, in Dorset, from two Chinese men who were attempting to hack off her fin to make soup.

Coastguard Rob Sansom spotted the men with the 4ft smooth-hound shark, who were trying to "fin" it and leave it to die - an activity banned in the EU.

Sansom said: "The men explained that all they wanted was the fin and I said I wouldn't allow them to chop it off."

He alerted colleagues at Portland Harbour, Dorset, and brought in Jean-Denis Hibitt and Anna Russell from Weymouth's SeaLife Park.

They climbed down to the shark after realising it was pregnant, and carried her out of the storm drain she was trapped in.

The shark was released into the harbour shallows across the road from where she was found.

The shark only suffering minor injuries to her dorsal fin from where the men had used hooks to catch her.

Shark fin soup, the traditional Chinese delicacy, is believed to bring good luck and prices can reach £65 for a bowl thanks to bans on finning.

Hibitt said: "I was told the men wanted to cut her fin off and leave the body which you don't expect to hear in Dorset."