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Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy)

peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
So, I don't eat a lot of seafood at home - it's expensive as HELL to buy fish.  But, BFF comes on Monday, and one of our favorite things when we were in Mexico was fish tacos.  Specifically, grouper tacos.  YUM.  So, Madre and I were grocery shopping this evening, and I ran buy the seafood counter to find out how much grouper is per pound.  Apparently, it's $11.99, but they quoted me $8.99 to begin with (bargain!). I told the guy I needed to think on it, as that is quite a bit of money for some poor kid like me.

And Madre said to go for it - we only needed a pound anyways.  Well, as the guy behind the counter is collecting my frozen grouper, I asked where it was from and how it was caught (because, you know, I'm a biologist and all...).  Apparently my grouper is from China and is wild caught.  I'm not a fan of the China thing, but it's just this once, so I'll let it go.  And my eyes wander over the case.  And I spot...I couldn't believe it.  Black. Tip. Shark.  Filets.

Excuse me?  You're selling what?!  Now, I'm no genius here, but I am an aspiring shark biologist (and clearly one presentation on 14 million year old shark teeth makes me a real shark biologist, but that's beside the point), but isn't shark a NONSUSTAINABLE fishery?!  And, well, as the US Military (we were at the commissary), wouldn't you want to only support sustainable fisheries?! I don't know, so you don't have to worry about an ecosystem crashing or something?!

Yes, it was a few filets.  But I see a few filets and wonder how many sharks were killed.  And so I did what any reasonable person would do - I asked who did the ordering around that place.  And got "Oh, I don't know."  You don't know sir?  Good, well, you can bet your buttons I'll be calling back Monday morning with an EARFUL for your manager.  SHARK?!  REALLY?!


So, in the efforts of ultimate conservation, if you manage to spot shark in your local seafood counter's display case, please remind your store manager/butcher/whoever the hell is actually in charge around there that our toothy friends are not sustainable, and you would appreciate it if they would no longer carry shark.  And if they demand proof - give me a name and phone number.  They'll get an earful from me.  And then I'll start sending letters.

If we can reduce the overall demand for shark meat, we can reduce the number of sharks killed per year.  And that, ladies, is quite important if you like seafood. If you want a more detailed explanation, google "mesopredator release".

/soapbox.
I french with my man
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Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy)

  • edited December 2011
    This is probably one of the few things I knew about sustainable fisheries (marine life doesn't intrest nearly as much as mammals do which is why that's my area of study!) and I'm really surprised that they carried shark in the first place! I've never seen that before and will be sure to remind them :)


  • AudgiePodgeAudgiePodge member
    2500 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Shark is yum.
    I'm not good at feelings.

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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I didn't know you could buy shark at a grocery store...I've never seen it.


  • Simply FatedSimply Fated member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I knew that shark fin was a delicacy... I want to say I saw it on TLC or the FoodNetwork at some point. It was a show about expensive parties and catering them... one of the things they were doing was a wedding and the bride and the groom insisted on some sort of shark fin soup.
    I never knew before seeing that show that anyone ate shark. Then again, I only found out recently that people ate camels and yaks and I don't know why I thought people didn't...

    Shark is pretty controversial from what I understand... in some places it's perfectly natural, but in some places they're supposedly on the endangered list.
    I knowless about this than I know about algebra. (not much)


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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE]I knew that shark fin was a delicacy... I want to say I saw it on TLC or the FoodNetwork at some point. It was a show about expensive parties and catering them... one of the things they were doing was a wedding and the bride and the groom insisted on some sort of shark fin soup. I never knew before seeing that show that anyone ate shark. Then again, I only found out recently that people ate camels and yaks and I don't know why I thought people didn't... Shark is pretty controversial from what I understand... in some places it's perfectly natural, but in some places they're supposedly on the endangered list. I knowless about this than I know about algebra. (not much)
    Posted by Simply Fated[/QUOTE]

    People eat camels and yaks?!


  • kaitlynmichellekaitlynmichelle British Columbia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I had no idea that people actually ate shark.  I've never seen it anywhere around here before. 
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  • Simply FatedSimply Fated member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy) : People eat camels and yaks?!
    Posted by bethsmiles[/QUOTE]
    Yeah, I've been watching a lot of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel... both shows are really fascinating, but not always good for the appetite.
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  • IrishDreamerIrishDreamer member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy) : Yeah, I've been watching a lot of No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain and Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel... both shows are really fascinating, but not always good for the appetite.
    Posted by Simply Fated[/QUOTE]

    Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern = Love. I could watch hours of their shows

    Peek,

    WTFBBQ!?! That is terrible. I spent many years in SW FL, and saw some exotic fish at the markets, but never shark. I think Michigan isn't sophisticated enough for that lol. If I see anything, I will give you the heads up!
  • edited December 2011
    I've had shark...  friends of mine go on a deep sea fishing trip every year and one year they brought back shark!  I didn't know it was bad.  :(  sorry peek!
  • ravenrayravenray member
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I have had shark.  BF's mom works at the Meat counter at our local store. She brought it home once.  I didn't know they were endangered?
    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • polkadot111polkadot111 member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Wow, I honestly thought that people couldn't sell shark in grocery stores in America. I'm honestly surprised. Today I am going grocery shopping and I am goign to look at the meat counter and see if there's shark. If there is, I'm going to send them an email and give you their phone number.
    Used to be bourgehm. +1,500 posts. Silly knot
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  • Elle1036Elle1036 member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    First house elves, now this.  What's next, Hermione?

    I love that you're so steamed about this, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for shark in my store, but you have to do something for me, too.

    If your grocery store express lane says "10 items or less", please inform the store manager that this is BAD GRAMMAR.

    Yeah, I'm totally serious.
  • misikesmisikes member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I had shark once (and yes, it was very delicious), but it was at some fancy-pants seafood restaurant in Washington, D.C. Never seen it actually available in a grocery store before. But, then again, I live in the middle of nowhere, so that's probably why.
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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    Most species of shark aren't technically listed as endangered.  Most stocks are listed as threatened or near threatened, but that seems to change based on the phase of the moon.  Getting an animal listed on an endangered list is incredibly difficult, and many species on those lists will never recover because they're placed too late.

    Most sharks have low fecundity - they only have a few offspring at a time.  Add to that that it takes several years for them to mature and have their own babies.  We don't know a lot about their life histories, so stock assessment is simply that for the most part - an assessment of how many there are.  

    But I can guarantee you that if you look up sustainable seafood, shark will always be on the "DON'T EAT" list.  
    I french with my man
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE]Shark is yum.
    Posted by AudgiePodge[/QUOTE]

    Yeah I like shark too... Very tasty. I always figured it was like any other fish as far as catching goes.
    My Planning Bio - Updated 1/26/12
  • alanna91alanna91 member
    500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE] But I can guarantee you that if you look up sustainable seafood, shark will always be on the "DON'T EAT" list.  
    Posted by peekaboo2011[/QUOTE]

    That's really sad :(. I just looked up a list of sustainable seafood and I'm suprised to see that tuna, shrimp, caviar, and cod are on the list... why is that? I thought thouse were really popular choices. I mean tuna must be easy enough to catch for them to grind it up and stuff it into cans for under $1, so it can't be endangered right?

    Unfortunately however, people will not care if shark is on the avoid list. If the buyer for that supermarket sees a highdemand for it, he'll probably keep buying it.

    Originally I became a vegetarian because meat grossed me out, but after a few years I started to read into ethical reasons. The cattle and poultry industry is all sorts of screwed up, but the big wigs don't give a crapolla about it as long as the chicken fingers on their customer's plates taste good and get them money. If any of you are ever interested in making the switch to vegetarianism, PM me.

    ((Edited to make that last part not sound so preachy))
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  • peekaboo2011peekaboo2011 Washington, DC member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy):
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pardon Me, I'm on a Soapbox (Long and quite Nerdy) : That's really sad :(. I just looked up a list of sustainable seafood and I'm suprised to see that tuna, shrimp, caviar, and cod are on the list... why is that? I thought thouse were really popular choices. I mean tuna must be easy enough to catch for them to grind it up and stuff it into cans for under $1, so it can't be endangered right? 
    Posted by alanna91[/QUOTE]

    You have to look deeper than just "it's on the list" for most fish.  Sharks, other than low fecundity, long maturation rates, also have warnings based on mercury in the meat.  Sturgeon caviar - sturgeon are also endangered.  They have similar issues as far as life history goes to sharks, and there are mercury concerns.  Tuna - if it's troll or pole caught, you're okay - they want to avoid gillnet fishing (which is illegal in the state of Florida).
    But it's not always about that.  Remember that these have been popular for a long time.  If you are removing fish at a rate higher than they can reproduce and mature, the fishery will crash.  Tuna and cod are at a high risk here - they've been overfished.  
    I have the Monterey Bay Aquarium lists by region - the key says "Avoid for now as these items are overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment."
    Feel free to PM me if you have questions - I could go on for hours. :)
    I french with my man
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  • larcierolarciero member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Shark is everywehre in Hawaii... It's pretty much in every grocery store. But I'm not allowed to eat it because I'm Hawaiian and it's my aumakua, family's guardian animal. But sharks get caught in the nets all the time. We used to catch and release them but some friends would sell their fins in chinatown for Shark Fin Soup.
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