You’ve probably already heard that many supermarkets and markets sell mislabeled seafood. That’s why we at Nakawe collaborated with science partners to run chemical and genetic analyses of shark filets that were sold as “cazón” in supermarkets all over Baja California, Mexico . The results were alarming!
While DNA results revealed that 27% of the analyzed filets were Shortfin Mako sharks, 13% were Blue sharks and 11% were Pelagic thresher sharks. These findings are shocking as Blue sharks are currently listed as near threatened, Mako sharks as endangered and Pelagic threshers as vulnerable to extinction on the IUCN Redlist. While this alone is a cause for concern, we found out about another troubling aspect: mercury levels.
The results of our chemical analysis revealed that the filets contained an average concentration of 1.45 mg/kg of Mercury. Unfortunately, this is well above the legal limit on fishing products as stated by Mexican official law NOM-242-SSA1-2009. Even more shocking: Mako shark samples had the highest concentration of mercury – 3.0 mg/kg. This is THREE TIMES HIGHER than the legal limit!
Not only a phenomenon in Mexico, mislabeled shark meat is sold all over the world – from Fish and chip shops in the UK to markets in Spain and big supermarket chains in the USA. And most of the time consumers don’t know what they’re actually eating, while being unaware of the hazard to public health shark meat (and other big fish species like tuna) actually poses. Mercury can cause serious health problems such as nerve, brain and heart damage and unborn children are especially at risk.
Now is the time to join us save sharks – and each other! Sign our petition to stop this (link HERE)