Shark – to sell or not to sell, that is the question?

Shark is not something we sell a lot of. It is not widely caught in our waters and the most common species of shark caught locally, and best for eating, is the Porbeagle Shark which is under threat in parts of the world due to over fishing. Indeed it is listed as vulnerable by conservation agencies. However occasionally a fish will get caught alongside other species of fish as bycatch. Our fishermen are not actively targeting shark but they feed on the same fish that the fishermen are trying to catch and therefore the inevitable will happen. Now my view of bycatch is that everything that gets caught should be landed and made best use of as it is a criminal waste to throw dead fish back into the water. So on an odd occasion a shark will appear on Grimsby or Hull fish market and because there is not much call for them often they are relatively cheap. If I buy a shark of say 30 kg I can produce around 120 nice steaks and sell them at a good price of around £2 each, offering the customer excellent value for money. Vital in these difficult times. In this way, in my view, the animal has not gone to waste but if someone like me doesn’t buy the fish it is likely that it will end up being sold for fish meal or pet food production which would not be a very good end to a magnificent creature. I wholeheartedly support restrictions on commercial fishing of species such as this and I find the practice of catching shark only for their fins and discarding  the body as totally repellent. I know people will say that by selling it I am encouraging the trade but no amount of protesting will stop these animals getting caught from time to time and if they have no value on the quayside they will just get dumped back in  the sea dead like so much fish on a daily basis. So the question remain – to sell or not to sell?
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