Research Highlights: Pet food products may contain endangered shark species

grey shark underwater
Photo by Holger Wulschlaeger on

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). … ars.2022.836941/full

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