Mexican authorities said Wednesday they are investigating a former candidate of Mexico’s Ecological Green Party who posted photos of himself with a haul of more than 20 juvenile sharks.
Joaquin Badillo ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Acapulco in June. He posted a photo to his Twitter account Sunday in which he poses with a pile of small sharks aboard a boat.
Mexico’s environmental protection agency said Wednesday that the species of shark shown, the silky shark, is not endangered, but Badillo may have exceeded daily catch limits.
The agency said the in-season limit for sharks is one a day and, “according to what is seen in the photos, that limit would have been violated.”
Badillo has denied any wrongdoing. In an interview with a radio station in Guerrero state, he said Tuesday that he didn’t catch the sharks. He said he and people he was with found the sharks trapped in illegal fishing nets that they stumbled upon.
The Green Party said it “rejected and condemned” Badillo’s actions. It said he is not a formal member of the party and would not be allowed to run on its ticket in the future.
The party has been criticized for frequently violating election laws and is accused of being “green” in name only.
The federation of European Green Parties stripped the Mexican party of recognition after it demanded in 2009 that kidnappers be put to death, a position counter to Green ideology. The Mexican group later dropped the demand from its platform.