Quite shockingly a DNA probe found out that endangered sharks were being served in British fish and chips shops to unsuspecting customers. Researchers at the University of Exeter examined 15 battered meals from coastal hotspots and found threatened spiny dogfish and starry smooth-hound being sold as rock salmon. 6000 Endangered Fish Dies in China Due to Construction of Bridge; Work Halted.
According to the probe ordered by the Daily Mirror, the researchers found out samples of shark in every meal they tested. DNA analysis said that ten meals they tested contained spiny dogfish, classified as endangered in Europe. While the other five contained starry smooth-hound fish.
Exeter University bioscientist Greg Wannell, who carried out the tests, told The Mirror, "These sharks typically take a long time to reach sexual maturity and, once they do, produce relatively few young compared to most fish commercially caught." According to EU legislation, fisheries are allowed to label shark as dogfish, flake, huss, rig, rock salmon, rock, and rock eel. Until recently, it was illegal to sell spiny dogfish in the UK. Stop Eating Dog Meat! Vietnam’s Capital City Hanoi Tells Its Residents.
However, the law was changed to allow of the sale of shark which was caught accidentally as 'bycatch'. A Defra spokesperson said: "Chippies can only sell these shark species if they were caught legally and sustainably. Food labels should not be misleading because people need complete trust in the food they are eating."
According to a previously published in the journal Scientific Reports, generic names permitted by the EU like rock, rock salmon, huss and flake were often referred to the meat of endangered sharks. Although the EU prohibited the fishing of spiny dogfish (or Squalus acanthias) in its waters in 2011, fisheries in the US and Canada, in particular, continue to export their catches to the UK. The study had found out that shark fins sold by British wholesalers were derived from threatened species which also included the scalloped hammerhead shark that International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies as globally endangered.