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In an article published in the journal "Scientific Reports" on January 31, it was found that most of the samples of chips sold under generic names, such as huss, stone salmon and hard rocks, were in fact forced.
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In the food wholesaler's samples, combed heads were classified as "endangered" and subject to strict international trade restrictions.
The shocking discovery was made by using “DNA barcodes”, a method that uses a certain portion of genes to identify the organism on species.
The study analyzed 78 samples from chip stores and 39 from fish processors, mainly in southern England, as well as 10 fins from one wholesaler.
The researchers also investigated the 30 fins detained by the UK Border Guard on the way from Mozambique to Asia, including bull shark, a species classified as 'near endangered'.
After the discovery, the researchers called for more specific food labeling so that people know what fish species they eat.
Dr. Andrew Griffiths of the University of Exeter said: “The discovery of endangered hammer sharks highlights the widespread sale of fallen species, even reaching Europe and the United Kingdom.
“Some investigations focusing on Asia have generally identified hammerheads in the finish of the head.
"The claw hammer head can be imported under strict conditions, but the wholesaler had no idea what the species belonged to."
The UK wholesalers supplying Asian restaurants and supermarkets in the UK also included other endangered shark species such as short mako and smalleye hammerheads.
Other globally endangered shark species such as a nurse, a smooth pig, and blue sharks have also been identified in the analysis of samples taken from chip stores.
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The first author, Catherine Hobbs, also from the University of Exeter, said about the findings: “People might think that they get a sustainably produced product if they actually buy a threatened species.
“There are also health issues. Knowing what species you are buying could play an important role in allergies, toxins, mercury content and the growing concern about microplastics in the marine food chain.
“Knowledge of shark species consumption in the UK, especially for the banned species and those with high levels of protection, increases our ability to prevent shark populations from falling.
WWF Chief Marine Advisor Simon Walmsley informed Yahoo News UK: “Dangerous shark species should not enter human plaques because they are taken over the weekend, especially forced, vulnerable and threatened.
“It highlights the shortcomings that still exist in finding fish.
"We work with people across the industry to turn policy change into effective action and ensure that consumers know what they eat from the sea."