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Shark Meat Used in Fishballs: Truck of Fishball Supplier Found with Cut-Up Thresher Sharks

June 26, 2019

For the longest time, suspiciously cheap processed meats such as hotdogs, and fishballs were rumored to be from sharks. Rumors were proven true last Wednesday, when the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, with the help of Capitol security, apprehended a truck with the chopped bodies of fourteen thresher sharks in Naga City. The truck was registered to a Tirso’s Fish Food Product from Barangay Basak in Lapu-Lapu City.

Thresher Shark Lapu Lapu Cebu1

On the truck, the company’s name, and products were listed on one door. Aside from fishball, Tirso’s Fish Food Product supplied tempura, squid ball, squid roll, and kikiam. Diver, and marine biologist Gary Cases identified the cargo as two species of thresher sharks.

Officers at the scene found the meat packed in plastic bags, hidden by blue plastic boxes of other kinds of fish. According to the Cebu Daily News, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III was surprised by what they found, “I didn’t know that shark meat was being used for fish balls.” The fishball brand, according to a report in the Inquirer, is also sold in supermarkets.

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The truck was caught at a checkpoint in Naga City, after a source tipped off the task force on the cargo. The driver, Allan Empinado of Cebu City, was accompanied by Gerry Atillo and Daniel Amistoso of Lapu-Lapu City. The three are now detained at the City of Naga Police Station. The three men may be charged for violation of the Republic Act 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code, and for violating a 2012 Cebu provincial ordinance on the hunting, capture, killing, or sale of thresher sharks.

Thresher sharks species are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The sharks are hunted for their meat, liver oil, skin, and for their fins. Their fins are favored for use in shark-fin soup.

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While this is the most recently confirmed incident of shark meat used as fish balls, a video of sharks being sold as meat in the north Cebu town of Daanbanatayan went viral earlier this month.

With reports from the Cebu Daily News and Sun Star Cebu.

Would you still eat fishballs after this report? What should the government do to put a stop to the illegal fishing and sale of shark meat? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Image source: Save Philippines Seas

Mia Marci Mia Marci

Mia Marci likes sampling street food, even if she doesn't know what's in it. She's gotten sick to her stomach on occasion because of this hazardous curiosity, but even the strictest of doctors couldn't stop her. Mia also writes about video games, travel, and girly issues for other publications. She also teaches English and Creative Writing. In the little spare time she has left, she catches up on film and TV shows, while cuddling up to her dog and cat.

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10 responses to “Shark Meat Used in Fishballs: Truck of Fishball Supplier Found with Cut-Up Thresher Sharks”

  1. hehehe says:

    Why is the meat used to make fishballs if there’s a demand for it in the market? Is it because it’s already rotten?

    • Mia Marci says:

      Because sharks meat is cheap. Reports say that they go for as low as P50 per kilo, the only part of value is the fin itself.

      • joseph says:

        I see them in our public palengke all the time (Antipolo of all places), they sell that for around P30/k, minsan 20 pag nilalangaw na. And yup, nandun pa fin. Walang bumibili pero baka sakaling makatyempo ng shark eater. They are sold alongside pagi or stingray. Sad, no?

        @hehehe, nakakain na ako ng pating many, many years ago. May konting lansa sya, sariwang huli na iyon. They say that Thresher sharks are “cleaner” tasting and taste like crabmeat so malamang ginagamit sya substitute sa “crab” or “lobster” balls.
        Sorry for the Taglish.

        • Mia Marci says:

          Ok lang mag taglish, no apologies needed! 😀

          That’s sad to hear. :S Do they say that it’s shark meat?

  2. Pamela Cortez says:

    Meron sharksfin pala ang fishball?? Sosi naman! But seriously- disgusting. Calls for a boycott, really.

  3. Yuki says:

    i was thinking sharkmeat would be expensive as fuck 😮

  4. Marika says:

    Nothing “sosi” about eating shark meat. Nothing spectacular about the taste either. I accidentally consumed some when out eating at a Chinese restaurant. A family friend was trying to impress us by ordering the expensive dishes. I thought it was just crab soup. To my horror, my sister said it’s sharkfin. Ugh.
    Also, they have high mercury content. Please avoid eating these beautiful creatures. They are friends. Not food. I’ve dived with some and if you respect them and their territory, they respect you back.

  5. jesse says:

    Shark meat is actually quite delicious its a unique creamy taste and has a rather meaty texture. I’m not proud nor ashamed to say that i have consumed such meat… i had this in a broth during a gathering and i thought it was just ordinary fish until i realized that the bone structure was quite different and so i started asking what it actually was. I just wonder how it would affect the price and demand on sharksfin if the entire shark was more appreciated and had a higher priced tag.

  6. vic says:

    I’d rather eat shark meat than frog’s meat or one-day old chick.

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