Yes, you read it right – fish bladder. Highly illegal and highly sought after, the Totaoba bladder is worth up to $100,000.
It is currently being called the “War on Aquatic Cocaine”. Many poachers set out on the Gulf of California searching for a fish called the Totaoba Bass and more specifically its bladder. As they set out on these illegal treks, police forces and environmentalist are out to find them.
A unit called Sea Shepard has gotten permission from the Mexican Government to patrol the waters and stop the illegal actions. They have been using drones at night for one of their tools, and can spot the night fisherman in action.
The Totoaba is sold on the black market for its supposed anti-aging benefits. The smugglers payout from Totoaba is equal to that of cocaine. One bust had a $750,000 hall.
Hong Kong law states the sale of bladder is illegal, but that isn’t stopping the whole process. The fisherman and the markets both know the environmental factors and the legality of their actions, but insist there is too much money to be made.
Who knew a fish bladder could cause such a stir!