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The Sale Of Dead Sharks And Alligators In Jars Causes Backlash In Miami

GettyImages, @lf4822/Twitter

When it comes to the sale of trinkets at the expense of animals, Miami Beach Animal Advocates are not buying.

The Facebook group posted about the discovery of shark jars being hawked to tourists visiting Miami Beach and the ensuing backlash prompted city commissioners in Miami Beach to prohibit vendors from selling and displaying preserved dead sea animals, including sharks and alligators.

The Sea Voice News indicated that such novelties were a tchotchke staple in gift shops all across Florida, but the lack of a mandate against the sale of such tasteless souvenirs remains especially shocking.

City Commissioner Mark Samuelian decried the sale of the disgusting items and issued a statement in which he described Miami Beach as a city that prides itself on supporting the environment and animals.

“Miami Beach stands for a lot of things: We’re very pro-environment; we really care about wildlife and all the animals. And I don’t think having dead species like alligators and sharks — some with the label ‘Miami Beach’ on them — is consistent with that.”


Vice Mayor Michael Góngora, who co-sponsored the resolution, expressed his disdain for the practice of selling sharks in jars.

“I’ve always thought it was gross, personally. I can’t imagine why anybody would want to buy this or have this. But I guess people do.”

Who are the customers? People want to know.

Some tourists agree and care about the livelihood of other species with whom we share the planet.

Because the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is the only government agency that can regulate marine life, the Miami Beach city commission was limited to suggesting that vendors remove the merchandise off their shelves.

The commission issued another resolution on December 12, according to the Miami New Times.

It called the shark jars “macabre curios” and their sales as a “disturbing and unsavory practice.”

The city commission released a second resolution urging for the state to crack down on fishing practices and harvesting of sharks and alligators.

There have been reports of fisherman bringing in dead baby sharks sealed in jars that were born in man-made pools for the strict use of killing and selling.

Maybe this notorious Marvel supervillain was on to something.

Tacky souvenirs are de rigueuer for the typical traveler, but let’s stick to buying the obligatory mugs and T-shirts.


Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1