Shark fins are a popular delicacy in some traditional Oriental culture. Photo: iStock

Ten Indonesian fishermen were caught smuggling almost 1,000 shark fins into Hawaii on November 7. According to News Now, the group had been working on a Japanese boat and were passing through Honolulu.

Court documents said airport security uncovered at least 962 shark products in 13 items of luggage. The fins were double-packed in clear bags to contain the smell and conceal the fins from discovery. One of the fishermen admitted that sharks had their fins cut off and were thrown back into the sea.

Another member of the group said he ate some sharks so they would not go to waste. The confiscated shark fins were worth between US$6,695 and $57,580.

International trading of protected animals without permission is illegal in the US, including the possession and distribution of shark fins in Hawaii.

Judge Kevin Chang released the fishermen on unsecured bonds valued at $10,000 and said they would not have to pay the amount if they kept out of trouble.