Endangered sharks on sale at the chippy

Scalloped Hammerhead were among the endangered species being sold

Scalloped Hammerhead were among the endangered species being sold

Analysis of the samples gained from chip shops also identified other globally threatened shark species such as nursehounds, smooth-hounds and blue sharks.

It is endangered globally and subject to worldwide trade restrictions.

Scientists also found that the scalloped hammerhead shark was discovered in 40 per cent of shark fins sold in Asian restaurants and supermarkets.

The called for more stringent food labelling so people know what species they are eating.

The majority of chip-shop samples sold under those names turned out to be spiny dogfish, which is classified as endangered in Europe and on the red list published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. "Scalloped hammerhead can be imported under strict conditions, but the wholesaler had no idea what species the fin belonged to".

Researchers urged retailers to stop using misleading "umbrella terms" so customers know exactly what they're putting in their mouths.

The University of Exeter study found that a staggering 90 per cent of shark sold at fish and chip shops in Britain was the globally threatened spiny dogfish which is subject to global trading restrictions.

Study first author Catherine Hobbs, of Exeter University, said: 'It's nearly impossible for consumers to know what they are buying.

For the first time in Europe, the team also studied shark fins from an unnamed nationwide Asian food wholesaler destined for restaurants and supermarkets were also analysed using mini bar codes.

The globally threatened species made up 16 per cent of the 39 samples from fishmongers.

Simon Walmsley, Chief Marine Adviser at WWF told Yahoo News UK: 'Endangered shark species shouldn't be ending up on people's plates as their weekend takeaway, particularly the spiny dogfish which is vulnerable and threatened with extinction.

He added that the alarming findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, 'highlight the global nature of the damaging trade in endangered shark species, in which Europe and the United Kingdom have a continuing role'.

'Our findings demonstrate the need for more informative and accurate seafood labelling'.

"The discovery of endangered hammerhead sharks highlights how widespread the sale of declining species really is - even reaching Europe and the United Kingdom", said Dr Andrew Griffiths, who co-authored the research.

'Separate investigations focusing on Asia have commonly identified scalloped hammerhead in fin processing'.

Last year, in the United Kingdom, several more species were added to the list.

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