Thursday 7 February 2019

UK fish and chip shops are selling endangered sharks, DNA tests prove

People buying generic fish such as rock could in fact be eating a range of shark species
Thu 31 Jan 2019 10.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 31 Jan 2019 18.55 GMT
Fish and chip shops and fishmongers are selling endangered sharks to an unwitting public, according to researchers who used DNA barcoding to identify species on sale.
Most chip shop fish sold under generic names such as huss, rock, flake and rock salmon turned out to be spiny dogfish, a shark species classified as endangered in Europe by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list.
Researchers at the University of Exeter also found fins of shark species unknowingly sold by a British wholesaler included scalloped hammerheads, which are endangered globally, as well as shortfin mako and smalleye hammerhead sharks.
Other species sold in fish and chip shops and fishmongers included starry smooth-hounds, nursehounds and blue sharks.
It was illegal to catch spiny dogfish in the EU until 2011 but the fish is now permitted to be sold as bycatch – when it is brought up in nets that target other species.

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