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BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)<br />
Pic: SeaLife/BNPS<br />
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This is the alarming moment a shark had to be set free by marine experts after a group of 'Oriental' men were spotted trying to hack off its fin.<br />
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The 3ft 6ins long shark had become trapped in a storm drain used to control flooding and was unable to escape back into the sea.<br />
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Rob Sansom from the coastguard was on duty near Portland in Dorset when he was alerted to two groups of men crowding around the area.<br />
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Upon further inspection he was horrified to see that they were trying to lure the pregnant smooth-hound shark towards them and capture it.<br />
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When he asked what they were doing, they are believed to have openly explained that they only wanted to cut her fin off and were planning on leaving the body.<br />
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Rob asked the group of men to leave and immediately called the nearby SeaLife Park in Weymouth and asked experts to come down to assist.<br />
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Two marine specialists, Jean-Denis Hibitt and Anna Russell, raced to the terrified creature and managed to free her from the enclosed area with a stretcher.<br />
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Luckily the three-year-old shark only suffered minor cuts to her dorsal fin, which are thought to have been from hooks the men were using.<br />
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A spokeswoman from the coastguard said the two men were believed to be from Chinese origin.<br />
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It is believed that the fin of the smooth-hound shark - Mustelus mustelus in Latin - was being sought to make shark fin soup, a popular dish in Chinese cuisine.