Shark Meat, The Deceptions

 
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Where is shark meat eaten?

Shark meat is eaten in many countries around the world (Japan, India, Sri Lanka, North America, Korea, Brazil, Australia, Iceland, the U.K., Germany France, Scandinavia and a number of countries in East Africa). European and North American markets seem to have a preference for dogfish species (a smaller shark), although this is possibly influenced by regulations that prevent the import of larger shark species due to high mercury content. In contrast, demand in South and Central American and Asian markets appear to be mainly for larger species. The Republic of Korea is notable for imports of skate and ray meat. There also seems to be an increased online market for shark jerky. 

As if there wasn’t enough deception in the seafood market already, in regards to labeling and mislabeling, shark meat is no exception. Many people may not even realize they are eating sharks. Shark meat is often sold as a more expensive fish like grouper or swordfish so the distributor profits more. It is also often sold under misleading labels and names, such as flake, sea ham, imitation crab and whitefish. Rock salmon, which is really spiny dogfish, used to be commonly used in fish and chips. For your reference, here is a full list of misleading names that countries label shark as (provided by VisionDive).

English

  • Flake, Huss, Catfish, Dogfish, Grayfish, Steakfish, Whitefish, Lemon Fish, Cape Steak, Rock Salmon, Smoked Rock Salmon, Smoked Dogfish, Rigg, Gummy, Sea Ham, Sokomoro, Tofu Shark, Ocean Fish / Ocean Filet, Imitation Crab Meat (Surimi), Component of Fish & Chips

Spanish

  • Gallina del Mar, Alo Rosado, Lobito, Cazón, Tintorera, Caella

Greek

  • Galeos

French

  • Chiens, Petite, Roussette, Rande Roussette, Saumonette, Taupe, Veau de Mer

Italian

  • Palombo, Smeriglio, Gattucci, Spinaroli, Cani Spellati

German

  • Seeaal / Meeraal, Schillerlocken, Kalbsfisch, Speckfisch, Dornfisch, Karbonadenfisch, Königsaal / Steinaal, Steinlachs, Seestör / Wildstör / Forellenstör, Tofuhai, Sokomoro, Ozean Filet / Meeres Filet, Falsche Jakobsmuscheln, Falsches Krabbenfleisch (Surimi), Bestandteil von Fish & Chips

Laurel Irvine