06 February 2007

Endangered Eating - Fish and Chips

Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)
Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)

What do Schillerlocken, Saumonette, Fish and Chips, Zeepaling, and Rock Salmon have in common? All of them are foods made from the meat of the Spiny Dogfish, a species of shark listed as Vulnerable, on the IUCN’s Redlist of Endangered Species.

In Germany, Schillerlocken is a smoked meat delicacy. In France, it is sold as saumonette, which translates to little salmon. In the UK, order some Fish and Chips, and Rock Salmon, another name for the shark, is what you’ll get. Or go to Belgium and dine on zeepaling, aka sea eel. Another way to enjoy this endangered species is as shark fin soup in Chinese cuisine.

Another shark, the Porbeagle (also listed as Vulnerable on the Redlist), is eaten fresh, frozen, dried, and salted throughout Europe. Both species are declining, mainly as a result of overfishing to meet demand.

A proposal is being spearheaded by the German government, to add these two species to Appendix II of the CITES agreement, which would require that international trade in these species be sustainable and non-detrimental to the species or their ecosystems. However, the success of the proposal is questionable, as it requires the support of the rest of the EU member countries.

Help spread the word about the dangers of overfishing sharks through the Shark Alliance, or donate to Oceana, an organization active in preserving many ocean species, including sharks.

References here, here, here, and here. And here and here.

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