Endangered shark meat found in Australian fish & chips

Posted on 30 January 2023 By David Henning

Meat from at least four endangered shark species has been identified in Australian fish and chips, locally labelled as fish “flake”, according to a study by the University of Adelaide.

Picture: Unsplash

23% of seafood from 100 fish shops across southern Australia analysed in the study were found to have traces of sharks. Flake is the umbrella for shark meat fillets in Australia which is widely popular because of its white colour and soft texture.

According to the Australian Fish Names Standard, only two types of shark – gummy and New Zealand rig sharks – can be sold under the term “flake”. But only 11% of retailers correctly identified the species sold, with a further 20% mislabeled or only having ambiguous labelling.

‘We found that at least nine species of Chondrichthyes were sold under the ambiguous term ‘flake’ in South Australia, including species with threatened IUCN status and/or CITES protection,’ the study stated.

This is not the first time this issue came was brought to light, when the overfishing of demersal shark species in False Bay was investigated as a possible cause for the disappearance of great whites near Cape Town where Australia was the dominant export market.

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