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6.3 INTERNAL ORGANS AND OTHER EDIBLE PRODUCTS


No statistics exist on trade, production or consumption of the other edible parts of shark.

Shark skin is eaten in various parts of the world, particularly in Japan, Taiwan Province of China, Solomon Islands and Maldives. Shark skin is usually dried, then the dermal denticles are removed, the skin bleached and dried again[88]. In Japan shark skin with flaws are used to produce the gelatinous food nikigori[89]. In Taiwan Province of China, skin from the dusky shark and the whale shark is served in restaurants, as is also the upper part of the tail fin from thresher sharks. White-spotted guitarfish (Rhynchobatus djiddensis) gives the best quality skin from the tail fin[90]. In the Solomon Islands shark skin is salted, dried or smoked with little meat left on the skin. Usually it is salted and then sun dried or smoked. Then it is boiled and the denticles rubbed off. Finally it is cooked with coconut milk to prepare soup[91].

Processing of the product called shark lips involves removing the denticles from the dried skin, bleaching with hydrogen peroxide, rinsing with water to remove the residual bleaching agent and re-drying before marketing. It is rehydrated before cooking. The cooked skin is soft, smooth and juicy and is sold in Singapore and Malaysia under the name fish lips.

Shark stomach is eaten in the Solomon Islands, Australia, Taiwan Province of China and Uruguay. In the Solomon Islands processing of shark stomach is similar to that for shark skin described above.

Shark liver has been traditionally used as food in the Solomon Islands and China, amongst others. In the Solomon Islands the liver is sliced, salted and eaten but it can also be eaten fresh after harvesting and cooking or preserved by salting and, much later, cooked before eating[92]. According to Tanikawa[93], after the shark liver oil has been separated, the residue, called "cooked skin of whale", is eaten as a delicacy in the Osaka district of Japan.

Shark cartilage is used as an ingredient for soups as it is considered a healthy tonic in the East Asian region. For example, Tanikawa[94] described the processing of boiled-dried cartilage (meikotsu) made from pieces of jaw, fin and head parts. These are soaked in hot water, the meat is removed and then the cartilage is boiled and sun-dried. This product was also exported to China and possibly eaten as a health supplement as well[95]. In Hong Kong dried shark cartilage is sold as vertebral columns or as a by-product of shark fin processing. The former are mostly imported into Hong Kong from North and South America. They are cooked and eaten as food or boiled in soups or with herbs to improve health[96].

In the Maldives gulper shark eggs are eaten. Salmon shark heart is prepared as sashimi in Kesennuma, Japan.


[88] CHEN G.C.T. et al, idem, 1996.
[89] KIYONO H., “TRAFFIC report on shark fisheries and trade in Japan”, in “TRAFFIC report on shark fisheries and trade in the East Asian Region” “The world trade in sharks: a compendium of TRAFFIC’s regional studies”, TRAFFIC Network, 1996.
[90] CHEN G.C.T. et al, idem, 1996.
[91] MATTHEW P., idem.
[92] HOOI K.K., “Non-food uses of sharks”, Appendix II of this report.
[93] TANIKAWA E. “Marine products in Japan”. Koseisha Koseikaku Co. Ltd., Tokyo, 1985.
[94] TANIKAWA E., idem.
[95] HOOI K.K., idem, Appendix II.
[96] HOOI K.K., idem, Appendix II.

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