Endangered Species Are Back as the Four Rivers Open? An Environmentalist’s Lie

A representative of an environmental organization who was charged with violating the Wildlife Protection Act by posting on social media (SNS) that endangered fish had returned to the Han River due to the opening of the Four Gorges, and that he was catching and releasing them, was acquitted in the first instance court after admitting that he had never carried out such activities. The presiding judge concluded that he had falsely posted to make it appear that he had accomplished something.

Judge Park So-jung of the Seoul Central District Court’s Criminal Division 2 acquitted Mr. A, the head of an environmental social cooperative, of violating the Wildlife Protection Act, the court said on Thursday. Mr. A served as secretary general of the Environmental Movement Alliance and a civilian member of the National Water Management Committee during the Moon Jae-in administration. He has advocated for the opening of the Four Rivers to restore river ecosystems.

In February last year, Ahn visited the Namhang River in Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province, along with members of the same organization, claiming to conduct “fish monitoring” activities. Previously, the Ministry of Environment opened the sluice gates of the Gangcheonbo section of the Han River in December 2021 to observe ecological changes.

On the day of his visit, Mr. A wrote on Facebook, “Today, I met more than 20 species of fish, including protected species such as cuckoo and mute sack. I just recorded them and let them go,” he wrote. He also posted a photo of hundreds of freshwater fish caught in a net.

A Facebook post by Mr. A, a representative of an environmental organization, after participating in the “monitoring of the opening of the Four Rivers” at the time. He wrote, “Today, I met more than 20 species of fish, including protected species such as coot and mute sack,” which he later claimed in court was not true./Facebook capture

The croaker he claimed to have caught is a Class 2 endangered wildlife species, which means it cannot be taken without a license from the Minister of Environment스포츠토토. Mr. A was put on trial for taking the animal without a license.

During the trial, Mr. A’s story changed. He claimed that he had not participated in any fish monitoring activities, and that he had posted on Facebook after being told by someone else that he had seen a “cuckoo or something”. He denied that he had ever caught an endangered cougar.

Judge Park So-jung found him not guilty, saying, “It seems that he posted the post because he wanted to appear to be active in his activities even though he hadn’t captured the cuckoo.” There is still time to appeal, but the prosecution has reportedly not yet filed a notice of appeal.

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