'Marine massacre': Hundreds of dead sharks buried at sea
Hundreds of dead sharks illegally fished inside Ecuador's Galapagos National Park were returned to the sea after scientists counted and sampled what one expert called a "marine massacre."
"It was literally like a funeral at sea," University of North Carolina marine biologist John Bruno told msnbc.com. "It was rough and windy and the sun was going down and all 379 sharks were dragged to a gap in the gunwale and eased in the water as the ship slowly moved along.
"They slowly sank — which was for some reason the most powerful aspect of the whole day for a lot of people on board — lots of tears were shed."
All the sharks were from species (bigeye thresher, blue, Galapagos, hammerhead, tiger and mako) listed as vulnerable or near threatened.
The Galapagos, an island chain made famous by Charles Darwin and his "Origin of Species," was declared a U.N. World Heritage site in 1979.