Sharks, Shark Week enthusiasts and conservationists can breathe a little easier today.
In response to 30,000 signatures on a change.org petition, the Food Network announced the removal of all shark recipes from its website and promised to exclude shark from future programming.
With nearly one-third of shark species on the brink of extinction, and shark populations the world over at historically low levels from overfishing and finning, the network saw no reason to offend viewers.
Within 10 days of the start of the petition, Susan Stockton from the Food Network took shark tacos and shark au poivre off the site and said:
“As a policy, Food Network and Cooking Channel do not incorporate or showcase recipes that involve animals on the endangered species list or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list. With the recent addition of sharks to those watch-lists, we will make sure that future content does not highlight shark as an ingredient. We understand there are many species with sustainability concerns, and we make efforts to stay informed and pass that information onto our audience.”
Food Network has never faced this sort of grassroots movement before, and their aboutface (even before most of the signatures were added to the petition) was quick.
Other species of seafood continue to be over-fished and served in restaurants and homes around the world.
To see which fish are closest to extinction, as well as good alternatives to eat yourself, check out the Seafood Watch Program.