Pet food products may contain endangered shark species
- Sharks existed long before the time of the dinosaurs.
- These predators that are important to the natural order of marine ecosystems now face their most serious threat.
- For the past 50 years, shark populations have declined by more than 70 percent.
- Overfishing has been speculated to be the reason for the decline.
- There is an increased public awareness regarding shark conservation; however, about 75 percent of all marine shark species are considered at risk of extinction.
- Researchers identified shark DNA in pet food available in Singapore.
- The blue shark is the most common shark identified in the pet food.
- Although not classified as threatened by IUCN, blue sharks have been overexploited according to scientific evidence and should have been protected.
- The second most commonly identified are the silky sharks.
- These pet food products do not list sharks as ingredients instead, they show terms such as “white fish”, “white bait”, and “ocean fish.”
- The vague terminology in the ingredients and mislabeling of contents prevents consumers from making informed and environmentally conscious decisions.
- As a result, consumers such as pet owners and animal lovers may unintentionally be contributing to the overfishing of sharks.
Frontiers in Marine Science (2022). www.frontiersin.org/articles/1 … ars.2022.836941/full