Illegal shark meat trial to go ahead

SHARMILLA VAN HEERDEN
SHARMILLA VAN HEERDEN

A PORT Elizabeth woman accused of illegally exporting shark and octopus meat will stand trial in July after plea negotiations on behalf of her company, Fisherman Fresh, failed between the defence and state.

Sharmilla van Heerden, 36, of Summerstrand, was arrested in January after her company allegedly illegally exported thousands of kilograms of processed shark fillets and octopus to Australia without an export permit.

The charges, dating back to 2011, involve more than 95 tons of shark and octopus worth about R7-million and came after an almost year-long investigation by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. – Kathryn Kimberley

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