“Buying a Pig in a Poke”: The Problem of Elasmobranch Meat Consumption in Southern Brazil

Hugo Bornatowski, Raul Rennó Braga, Carolina Kalinowski, Jean Ricardo Simões Vitule

Abstract


In Brazil, the demand for sustainably certified seafood is increasing and retailers have promised to source all seafood from sustainable sources by 2015. In the southern portion of the country, elasmobranch meat is sold as cação, and consumers are often unaware that cação refers to any type of elasmobranch. The present study used questionnaires to investigate the lay public’s knowledge of elasmobranch meat sold in a Brazilian city. Shoppers were surveyed at supermarkets in Curitiba, the largest city in southern Brazil. The study revealed that people do not link commercialized cação meat to sharks and rays (Elasmobranchii), with more than half of respondents who claimed to have already eaten cação did not think they had ever eaten shark or ray. The educational profile of interviewees suggests that this lack of knowledge may be even more common in other segments of Brazilian society. Therefore, we suggest that ecological information about elasmobranchs should be included in Brazilian elementary and high school curricula. Such a measure has the potential to modify behavior, create awareness, and stimulate responsibility throughout society, with the primary goal of reducing shark meat consumption and, ultimately, guaranteeing the long term conservation of marine resources.


Keywords


Conservation; Environmental education; Elasmobranchs; Fisheries management; Food mislabeling; Supermarkets

Full Text:

PDF

References


Barbuto, M., A. Galimberti, E. Ferri, M. Labra, R. Malandra, P. Galli and M. Casiraghi. 2010. DNA Barcoding Reveals Fraudulent Substitutions in Shark Seafood Products: The Italian Case of “palombo” (Mustelus spp.). Food Research International 43:376-381.

Bornatowski, H., R.R. Braga and J.R.S. Vitule. 2013. Shark Mislabeling Threatens Biodiversity. Science 340:923.

Bornatowski, H., A. F. Navia, R. R. Braga, V. Abilhoa and M.F.M. Corrêa. 2014a. Ecological Importance of Sharks and Rays in a Structural Foodweb Analysis in Southern Brazil. ICES Journal of Marine Science 71(7):1586-1592.

Bornatowski, H., R. R. Braga and J. R. S. Vitule. 2014b. Threats to Sharks in a Developing Country: The Need for Effective and Simple Conservation Measures. Natureza & Conservação 12(1):11-18.

Brasil. 1990. Lei n. 8.078, de 11 de setembro de 1990. Dispõe Sobre a Proteção do Consumidor e dá Outras Providências. Diário Oficial da República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília, DF, 12 set. 1990. Available at: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/leis/l8078.htm. Accessed on September 15, 2014.

Camhi, M., S. Fowler, J. Musick, A. Bräutigam and S. Fordham. 1998. Sharks and Their Relatives: Ecology and Conservation. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission 20:63.

Carrier, J.C. H.L. Pratt and J.I. Castro. 2004. Reproductive Biology of Elasmobranchs. In Biology of sharks and their relatives, edited by J.C. Carrier, J.A. Musick and M.R. Heithaus, pp. 269-289. CRC, Boca Raton, FL.

Compagno, L., M. Dando and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Cooke, S.J., N.W.R. Lapointe, E.G. Martins, J.D. Thiem, G.D. Raby, M.K. Taylor, T.D. Beard and I.G. Cowx. 2013. Failure to Engage the Public in Issues Related to Inland Fishes and Fisheries: Strategies for Building Public and Political Will to Promote Meaningful Conservation. Journal of Fish Biology 83:997–1018.

Dell’Apa A., M.C. Smith and M.Y. Kaneshiro-Pineiro. 2014. The Influence of Culture on the International Management of Shark Finning. Environmental Management 54:151–161.

Dent, F. and S. Clarke. 2015. State of the Global Market for Shark Products. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 590. FAO, Rome, Italy.

Dulvy, N.K., L.R. Harisson, J.K. Carlson, L.N.K. Davidson, S.V. Forfham, M.P. Francis, C.M. Pollock, C.A. Simpfendorfer, G.H. Burgess, K.E. Carpenter, L.J.V. Compagno, D.A. Ebert, C. Gibson, M.R. Heupel, S.R. Livingstone, J.C. Sanciangco, J.D. Stevens, S. Valenti and W. T. White. 2014. Extinction Risk and Conservation of the World’s Sharks and Rays. eLife 3:e00590.

Escobar-Sánchez, O., F. Galván-Magaña and R. Rosíles-Martínez. 2011. Biomagnification of Mercury and Selenium in Blue Shark Prionace glauca from the Pacific Ocean Off Mexico. Biological Trace Element Research 144:550-559.

Farmer, J., D. Knapp and G.M. Benton. 2007. An Elementary School Environmental Education Field Trip: Long-Term Effects on Ecological and Environmental Knowledge and Attitude Development. The Journal of Environmental Education 38:33-42.

Ferretti, F., B. Worm, G.L. Britten, M.R. Heithaus and H.K. Lotze. 2010. Patterns and Ecosystem Consequences of Shark Declines in the Ocean. Ecology Letters 13:1055–1071.

Gross, M. 2014. Learning to Live with Sharks. Current Biology 24(9):341-344.

Hall, S.J. 1999. Fish Biology and Aquatic Resources Series 1. Blackwell Science, Oxford, England.

Heithaus, M.R., A. Frid, A.J. Wirsing and B. Worm. 2008. Predicting Ecological Consequences of Marine Top Predator Declines. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 23(4):202-210.

Jacquet, J. L., and D. Pauly. 2008. Trade Secrets: Renaming and Mislabeling of Seafood. Marine Policy 32:309-318.

Jackson, J.B.C., M.X. Kirby, W.H. Berger, K.A. Bjorndal, L.W. Botsford, B.J. Bourque, R.H. Bradbury, R. Cooke, J. Erlandson, J.A. Estes, T.P. Hughes, S. Kidwell, C.B. Lange, H.S. Lenihan, J.M. Pandolfi, C.H. Peterson, R.S. Steneck, M.J. Tegner and T.R. Warner. 2001. Historical Overfishing and the Recent Collapse of Coastal Ecosystems. Science 293:629–638.

Kyne, P.M., N.J. Bax, and N.K. Dulvy. 2015. Biodiversity: Sharks and Rays in Peril Too. Nature 518:167.

Lamendin, R., K. Miller and R.D. Ward. 2015. Labelling Accuracy in Tasmanian Seafood: An Investigation using DNA Barcoding. Food Control 47:436-443.

Lopez, S.A., N.L. Abarca and R. Meléndez. 2013. Heavy Metal Concentrations of Two Highly Migratory Sharks (Prionace glauca and Isurus oxyrinchus) in the Southeastern Pacific Waters: Comments on Public Health and Conservation. Tropical Conservation Science 6:126-137.

Monroe, M. C., E. Andrews and K. Biedenweg. 2007. A Framework for Environmental Education Strategies. Applied Environmental Education & Communication 6:205–216.

Pauly, D., R. Hilborn and T.A. Branch. 2013. Fisheries: Does Catch Reflect Abundance? Nature 494:303-306.

Pethybridge, H., D. Cossa and C.V. Butler. 2009. Mercury in 16 Demersal Sharks from Southeast Australia: Biotic and Abiotic Sources of Variation and Consumer Health Implications. Marine and Freshwater Research 68:18-26.

Peres, M.B., R.R. Barreto, R. Lessa, C. Vooren, P. Charvet and R. Rosa. 2013. Heavy Fishing Puts Brazilian Sharks and Rays in Great Trouble. World Fisheries Congress in Scotland. 6th World Fisheries Congress Sustainable Fisheries in a Changing World. Available at: http://sharkyear.com/2012/world-fisheries-congress-in-scotland.html. Accessed on October 15, 2015.

Sampson, G.S., J.N. Sanchirico, C.A. Roheim, S.R. Bush, J.E. Taylor, E.H. Allison, J.L. Anderson, N.C. Ban, R. Fujita, S. Jupiter and J.R. Wilson. 2015. Sustainability: Secure Sustainable Seafood from Developing Countries. Science 348(6234):504-506.

Simpfendorfer, C.A., M.R. Heupel, W.T. White and N.K. Dulvy. 2011. The Importance of Research and Public Opinion to Conservation Management of Sharks and Rays: A Synthesis. Marine and Freshwater Research 62:518–527.

Smith, P.J. and P.G. Benson. 2001. Biochemical Identification of Shark Fins and Fillets from the Coastal Fisheries in New Zealand. Fishery Bulletin 99(2):351–5.

Van der Ploeg, J., M. Cauilan-Cureg, M. van Weerd and W.T. De Groot. 2011. Assessing the Effectiveness of Environmental Education: Mobilizing Public Support for Philippine Crocodile Conservation. Conservation Letters 4:313–323.

Vannuccini, S. 1999. Shark Utilization and Trade. Food and Agriculture Organization technical paper, n.389, Rome, Italy.

Von der Heyden, S., J. Barendse, A.J. Seebregts and C.A. Matthee. 2010. Misleading the Masses: Detection of Mislabelled and Substituted Frozen Fish Products in South Africa. ICES Journal of Marine Science 67:176-185.

WildAid. 2007. The End of the Line? Global Threats to Sharks. Available at: www.wildaid.org. Accessed on March 10, 2015.

Worm, B., B. Davis, L. Kettemer, C.A. Ward-Paige, D. Chapman, M.R. Heithaus, S.T. Kessel and S.H. Gruber. 2013. Global Catches, Exploitation Rates, and Rebuilding Options for Sharks. Marine Policy 40:194-204.

Wong, E.H.K. and R. Hanner. 2008. DNA Barcoding Detects Market Substitution in North American Seafood. Food Research International 41:828-837.

Wourms, J.P. 1977. Reproduction and Development in Chondrichthyan Fishes. American Zoologist 17:379–410.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14237/ebl.6.1.2015.451

Copyright (c) 2015 Ethnobiology Letters

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.