Shark Species

What Sharks Can You Eat?

what shark can you eat

Fish consumption is a part of our daily food as they are a good source of protein and make most of our delicacies. Curious about trying some new species of fish for dinner? How about a delicious dish made from the meat of sharks?

People have been fascinated by sharks for centuries, the most majestic and fearsome creatures of the oceans. But what about their meat? Have you ever wondered if you can eat sharks? The short answer is yes, you can consume the meat of sharks. However, the question is, should you? Is it healthy to eat it?

Read this guide to learn the surprising facts about the meat of these amazing creatures of the ocean. 

Quick Outline

Can You Eat Sharks?

Yes, you can consume the meat of sharks as food. The meat of sharks is edible and has been eaten for centuries; it is a traditional food in Greenland, Iceland, and many other regions of the world. This low-calorie dish is ideal for people trying to maintain their health. Shark meat is a popular choice in Asia and people consume it either dried, smoked, or salted. The fins of sharks are popular in Asia and China as they are the main ingredient of shark fin soup.

What Sharks Can You Eat?

You can eat sharks, but you cannot make all sharks to your dining table, as few species contain high levels of mercury and other contaminants. Below, we have listed a few sharks that are delicious and you can eat them:

  • Mako Shark
  • Blacktip Shark
  • Dogfish Shark
  • Thresher Shark
  • Blue Shark

1: Mako Shark

The Mako Sharks are a popular prized game fish and are the fastest moving shark species. They are also famous for their tender succulent meat. They have moist meat with a mild flavor that is rich in protein and contains very little fat. The taste of these species is similar to Swordfish. People often grilled or boiled the meat of Mako Sharks to use it in numerous dishes such as steaks, or the filling of Tacos.

2: Blacktip Shark

The other most consumed shark species in the US is the Blacktip shark. They have white meat with a sweet and mild flavor. The meat of Blacktip Sharks is often fried, grilled, or used in numerous dishes like shark tacos. You can marinate the meat of these species for hours before cooking it to enhance their taste.

3: Dogfish Shark

The meat of the Dogfish is the favorite ingredient in European cuisine. The meat of this species is known for its firm texture. The meat of these species has been used in various dishes such as fish chips, and shark stir-fry and has a mildly sweet taste.

4: Thresher Shark

The Thresher Sharks have a unique upper lobe of tail fins. They have a firm texture with a delicate taste and are used to make fish chips, steak, sandwiches, and kebabs. The Thresher Sharks are also prized for their fins, as they are the main ingredient of shark fin soup, which is a traditional delicacy of the Chinese.

5: Blue Shark

The Blue Shark is one of the large deep-water species and is named for its blue color and white underside. Its meat has a moist texture with mild flavor. If you prepare it correctly, you can enjoy its taste. It is often used as an ingredient in various delicacies such as burgers, steak, and soup.

Is It Safe to Eat Sharks?

Generally, the answer is Yes if the meat is properly cleaned and cooked. However, some main issues come with the consumption of eating the meat of sharks. It is a good source of various nutrients such as  omega-3, protein, and fatty acids. The potential health benefits of consuming meat of shark are listed below:

  • The meat of sharks contains omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance the functioning of the brain and heart.
  • It contains a high level of protein and provides the body with all the amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair.
  • It contains a healthy amount of Vitamin B12 and B6, which is essential for normal nervous system functioning. The vitamins are also important for the normal red blood cell production.

What Does Shark Meat Taste Like?

The different species of sharks have different qualities and tastes of meat. The meat of sharks is tasty and nutritious if it is properly cooked. Overall, the taste of the meat of sharks is lean and firm with a unique flavor. It is meaty and mild with a little sweetness. 

Where Can You Find Meat of Shark?

The location to find the meat of sharks depends on the region or local regulations. You can either purchase the meat of a shark from the nearest grocery store or catch the shark by yourself. If you want to catch a shark by yourself then it can be done by surf fishing at the beach. To purchase shark meat from a seafood market where it is legal to sell; you need to know where your seafood is sourced from and how it was caught. Sustainable fishing practices help to protect the shark species from overfishing and their population remains healthy.

Can You Eat Raw Shark Meat?

You can eat raw meat but eating raw shark meat is not recommended; the raw meat of sharks contains bacteria and other parasites that can cause food poisoning. The sharks do not release urine like humans, they absorb it in their skins and when you kill them, a strong odor of ammonia will be created. To minimize this odor, you can marinate the meat in different liquids before cooking. Properly clean and marinate the meat with herbs for a few hours before cooking it. It is also not recommended to leave the meat at room temperature or unrefrigerated for more than two hours. 

How to Prepare and Cook Shark Meat?

If you follow the right technique, you can create a delicious meal for your dinner:

1: First, buy fresh shark meat from a reputable supplier.

2: Use a sharp knife to remove the skin of the shark.

3: Marinate the meat with herbs, olive oil, lemon, and your favorite seasoning. 

4: Choose the method you want such as grilling, pan-frying, or baking.

5: Use a thermometer to check the temperature and prevent overcooking; Cook the shark meat until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).

6: After cooking, garnish the meat with your favorite fresh vegetables and herbs and serve it. You can also serve shark meat along with rice or pasta.

Why You Should Not Consider Eating Sharks

The shark is a delicacy in some countries, but should you eat it or better left untouched? You can taste the shark but consuming the shark in high quantities can lead to serious health issues. Below, we have listed down the numerous reasons why you shouldn’t consider eating the meat of a shark:

1: Mercury

Sharks are the apex predators and they contain high levels of protein in their bodies. These species get mercury from the environment through gills as well as from the small fish they eat. The bigger species contain more mercury compared to the small ones.

The high concentration of mercury present in the flesh of sharks can cause harm to young children, nursing mothers, and pregnant women. The high level of mercury is also unhealthy for normal people as it can lead to neuropsychological disorders, blindness, and death.

2: Urea

Sharks are carnivore species that contain high amounts of urea, which is secreted from their skins. Urea is a non-toxic that is an important component of human urine; this non-toxic substance keeps the fish from drying out in the saltwater. When a shark is killed or kept out of the water; decomposition occurs. A high amount of ammonia is produced. The consumption of meat that contains ammonia will lead to kidney damage or kidney failure.

3: Arsenic

Several species of sharks contain high quantities of Arsenic, which can affect the health of humans. It can 

damage the lungs, skin, kidneys, and liver. It can also cause cancer or even death.

4: Lead

Lead has been found in the meat of sharks in high quantities. Lead is poisonous to humans as it can cause serious abdominal pain, seizure, headache, and death.

5: Destroy the Environment

The survival of the shark population is another issue, as many shark species are threatened by habitat loss, overfishing, and climate change. The reproductive cycle of sharks is slow, so they cannot recover from these threats easily.

Final Verdict

Sharks are the fascinating creatures and apex predators of oceans. You can eat the meat of a few sharks such as the Mako Shark, Blacktip Shark, Dogfish Shark, Thresher Shark, and Blue Shark. Eating sharks is legal in most countries, and the fins of these species are highly valued in Asia and China. Some people enjoy the delicacy, while others avoid it due to serious health concerns.

You should eat the meat of sharks in moderate quantities. Eating the meat of sharks is not a healthy practice for humans as it contains high amounts of mercury, ammonia, arsenic, and lead. Also, there are a few ethical concerns related to the consumption of sharks, as most of the species are endangered.

If you still want to taste the meat of shark, buy it from a reputable source, clean the meat properly, and cook it at home.

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