Several sharks are fished for human consumption since 4th
Century, such as Mako shark and Thresher
shark. Shark meat is popular in Asia, where it is often consumed dried, smoked,
or salted. Shark meat is consumed regularly in Japan, India, Sri Lanka, areas
of Africa and Mexico. Popularity of shark meat has increased in Western
In Eastern Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean, shark
meat has been traded and has been a significant source of protein for
centuries. Shark meat is common and popular in Asia. Shark meat is typically
consumed in prepared forms in Japan, such as in prepared fish sausage, surimi,
fish paste, fish balls, and other products.
Shark meat is popular in Australia, where it is known as
flake. Flake is sourced primarily from gummy shark, a small, bottom-feeding
species abundant along the east coast of Australia. Flake can be purchased as a
ready-made meal from most Australian fish and chip shops, usually in the form
of battered or grilled fillets.
Per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations (FAO), European countries are major markets for shark meat. Pickled
dogfish is popular food in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and other northern
European countries. The meat is typically processed and consumed in steaks and
fillets. In Germany, though, a preference exists for backs, belly, and smoked
belly flaps, which are referred to as Schillerlocken. Per the FAO, Italy led
globally in the importation of shark meat in 1999, with France and Spain following.
In 1999, France imported the second-largest amount of shark meat on a global
In Iceland, hákarl is a national dish prepared using
Greenland shark or sleeper shark. The shark meat is buried and fermented to
cure it, and then hung to dry for several months.