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Critically endangered shark being sold at fish and chip shops

Article image for Critically endangered shark being sold at fish and chip shops

A critically endangered shark is regularly being sold as “flake” in fish and chip shops across Australia.

The school shark, which was last week listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is indistinguishable from the gummy shark when cooked.

Shark scientist and Australian Marine Conservation Society spokesperson, Leonard Guida, said the shark has been incorrectly labelled as “flake” for a century.

“There’s currently no law that says you have to call shark meat what it is by its species,” he told Ross and John.

“Flake should just be gummy shark but it’s been used as an umbrella term since the 1920s.”

School shark populations have declined 90 per cent in recent years, and it is regularly caught alongside gummy shark at Australian fisheries.

“What needs to be done … is make the school shark fully protected so that it can’t be commercially harvested,” Dr Guida said.

For the average person at a fish and chip shop, the easiest way to avoid eating the endangered shark is to choose another fish.

“There are a range of other sustainable alternatives,” Dr Guida said.

“The GoodFish app is a great way to find out what species are sustainable.”

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