Home > Diving News > “So who’s coming to buy our thresher shark steaks tomorrow?”

“So who’s coming to buy our thresher shark steaks tomorrow?”

It all started in such a mild way. Last week an image, thirteen words, a hashtag and a Twitter address were posted on Twitter by the Greendale Farm Shop.

Greendale Farm Shop, Twitter image of a dead Thresher Shark being cut up

The tweet read;

So who’s coming to buy our thresher shark steaks tomorrow? A 15ft beast! #eatmorefish @TheFishmongers

Understandably the tweet that the Greendale Farm Shop put up provoked a good deal of reaction by the scuba diving community. We regularly explore the sea, actively promote the conservation of its wildlife, and tend to be better informed about the subject than most of the population.

Greendale Farm Shop, Thresher Shark steaks for sale, Bite-Back, SharkAlliance

An image of the Thresher Shark put out on social media by the Greendale Farm Shop

The Greendale Farm Shop is located in Exeter, England. The following text is copied directly from their website;

Over the years, Greendale Farm has acquired its own fishing boats who land
their catch at Exmouth, 
just six miles from the farm shop. We are extremely
proud that our boats can catch a fish, land it in  Exmouth and deliver it to a
customer at the farm shop all on the same day so that you cannot beat 
the
freshness of our local fish. Additionally, our knowledgeable fishmongers
are willing to 
prepare, fillet and de-bone your fish whilst you wait.

It is good to see a company taking responsibility for sourcing and tracking their food products, whilst ensuring low food miles. However their behaviour regarding the Thresher Shark sale has been, at best, naive and uneducated.

Greendale Farm Shop, Greendale-Farmer, @TheFishMongers, @GreendaleFrmShp, Thresher Shark, dead shark, @Bite_Back, @hughsfishfight, @sharkangels, @sharkalliance, Project-Aware, CITES, endangered sharks

Greendale Farm Shop state in plain English on their website they they have their own fishing boats and knowledgeable fishmongers. However it is currently unclear whether this Thresher Shark was a deliberate haul, an accidental by-catch, caught by Greendale’s fishing fleet, or whether it was purchased in from another vessel.

Greendale Farm Shop, Thresher Shark, Marine Management Organisation, Guidance on the protection of shark, skate and ray species protected by fisheries and wildlife legislation, April 2013

What is clear is that all three Thresher Shark species are listed as VULNERABLE by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

The following three images have been taken from the Marine Management Organisation ‘Guidance on the protection of shark, skate and ray species protected by fisheries and wildlife legislation, April 2013’.
MMO_Big-Eyed-Thresher
MMO-Thresher-shark
MMO_Catch-reporting-of-sharks

Following a tirade of complaints by scuba divers, the Greendale Farm Shop have subsequently removed their social media accounts.

In the meantime Gourmet Britain (your guide to the best of British gourmet food) was contacted regarding the above sale of Thresher Shark meat. Their response is as follows;

“Many thanks for your Email about The Greendale Farm Shop.

We are sorry you were upset about the light hearted attitude to their selling of Thresher Sharks.

I think you will find that their sale is an occasion, as sometimes they become tangle in nets and would simply die if returned to the sea – so it’s better they are of use to someone.

Perhaps you could boycott their shop, explaining why – but in our case, the shop as so much ‘going’ for it, we cannot see Thresher Sharks on our endangered list (and we are not political animals) – so we will not be displaying your comments.

Yours
Simon Scrutton”
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