Can You Eat Shark Meat?

You are starving!

You hooked a shark!

Now you are doubting whether or not to eat it!

People when they hear the word “shark” think of it as an ocean beast but they forget sharks belong to a group of fishes. Sharks like other fishes can be eaten. In fact, they have been eaten by humans for a long time. In some countries, the shark is a staple food and appears as a popular dish in many restaurants whereas in some countries it is used for health benefits.

Before buying a shark, first, you have to know – Is shark meat safe to eat? Is there any kind of risk associated with it or not? Let’s find out the answers to such furtive questions!

Can you eat shark meat?

Yes! You can eat shark meat! Sharks can be eaten fresh, salted, smoked, or dried – depending on your taste! However, the taste is not appealing to many people. The taste of meat depends upon the species, the larger shark has more tasty meat than the smaller one. Moreover, it is a common food in many regions of the world – you can spot sharks in soups, barbecues, grilled steaks, on tacos and kebabs, or as jerky. The most common type of shark consumed includes Sand sharks, Dogfish shark, Mako sharks, Black-tip sharks, Leopard sharks and Thresher sharks.

Is shark meat healthy?

The meat of sharks contains many essential nutrients which make it delicious in taste. The taste of meat depends on the species, some people say that it tastes similar to chicken. Many people eat shark meat as their cultural heritage and believe that it has medical benefits which keep them healthy.

However, the shark’s body also produces some toxins that may affect human health! Read on to know about these chemical constituents of shark meat!

Does shark meat have a harmful impact on human health?

Catching and eating sharks not only threatened the marine ecosystem but had a dangerous impact on human life as well. The body of sharks produce different toxins which accumulate in the meat and pass humans when they consume it – adversely affecting the health of people!

Let’s see which chemicals shark meat has!

What types of toxins are present in shark meat?

Following are the listed chemical toxins found in shark meat after studying different samples:

1: Mercury

You know that seafood contains a high level of methylmercury which binds with organic molecules. Sharks among all the seafood have the highest content of mercury because of bioaccumulation. Even cooking the meat does not lower or remove the mercury concentration. High levels of mercury in the human body cause loss of motor control, corrosion of mucus membrane and skin, deafness, blindness, sterility and impotence.

2: BMAA (beta-Methyl-amino-L-alanine)

The toxin is found in the cartilage, flesh and in shark’s organs. It causes Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases in humans.

3: Ciguatera

It is the most common type of toxin found in sharks. It causes food poisoning in humans.

4: DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane)

Sharks are highly exposed to these toxic pesticides and accumulate in their body. When people eat shark meat too much, they may suffer from dizziness, irritability, convulsions and neurological problems.

5: PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls)

The chemical toxins are extensively accumulated in the meat and oil of sharks. They affect human’s health as it causes liver diseases, affects estrogen levels and reduce immunity.

Knowing about the health and harmful effects of shark meat, let’s see should you completely avoid eating sharks or not?

How much can a human eat shark meat normally?

There is no hard and fast rule that you should not eat shark meat in order to avoid diseases. Overeating may have a harmful impact on your health. You should eat it but with a limit! A recent study shows that you can eat shark meat but only twice in a month! Otherwise, you may develop mercury poisoning – The leading disease caused by eating shark meat!

Final words

All over the globe shark meat is used to make different recipes, shark meat can be grilled, barbecued depending upon your taste. Though shark meat is rich in many important nutrients which make it delicious, it also contains many harmful toxins which may affect the human’s health. That’s why it is highly recommended to eat the meat twice in a month so that you can enjoy the divine shark’s food without being ill!

About the author

Yumna Ahmad

An experienced content writer, photographer, and avid reader amazed by the sea world and its creatures. I am lettin people become fascinated with the ocean planet through my writings.