Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Shark, Shortfin Mako

©Diane Rome Peebles
SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Dogfish, Spiny Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Dogfish, Rock, Rock Cod, Shark Washington, Canadian Atlantic Wild
Dogfish, Spiny Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Dogfish, Rock, Rock Cod, Shark Canadian Pacific Bottom Longline
Dogfish, Spiny Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Dogfish, Rock, Rock Cod, Shark Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Shark Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Blacktip, Rock Cod, Sandbar, Shark Worldwide Wild
Shark, Common Thresher Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Shark, Thresher California, Hawaii Wild
Shark, Shortfin Mako Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Mako, Shark California, Hawaii Wild


Sharks, Wild, Worldwide

Most shark populations worldwide are at historically low levels due to serious overfishing. With just a few exceptions, shark is rated as "Avoid."

Consumer Note

Buyer beware: many shark species are sold under the generic name "shark" without species identification.

Health Alert

Environmental Defense Fund has issued a consumption advisory for all shark species (including dogfish) due to elevated levels of mercury.

Summary

Scientists estimate up to 73 million sharks are caught and killed each year in fisheries, with up to half caught accidentally in fishing gear targeting other species.

Although shark finning is banned in some countries, including the U.S., it still occurs in many fisheries worldwide and is a major factor in the decline of shark populations.

Since sharks mature slowly and give birth to few young, most don't reproduce quickly enough to keep up with the intense level of fishing and accidental catch in other fisheries.

In addition, gear used to specifically target sharks, such as gillnets or longlines, catch and kill endangered species such as marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds.

A small number of shark populations in North America are managed more responsibly and have healthier populations. These "Good Alternatives" are common thresher and shortfin mako sharks caught in California and Hawaii, and spiny dogfish from the Canadian Pacific. However, unless these shark species can be sourced from these specific regions, we recommend that consumers "Avoid" all other shark products.


Recipe Alternatives
Pacific halibut is a "Best Choice" and farmed sturgeon is a "Good Alternative."

Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat