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Healthnotes Index:


Shark: Main Image

Buying Tips

Quality shark is easy to recognize. Fresh shark should not have a strong ammonia smell; however, a slight ammonia smell is acceptable. Fresh shark flesh will give slightly when you press it with a finger, then spring back into shape. When choosing shark steaks or fillets, whether they’re fresh or previously frozen, look for moist, translucent (never dried out) flesh.


Perhaps because of its reputation as the killer of the sea, shark is usually sold under a less recognizable variety name. Common thresher is a huge shark, growing to over 1,000 pounds (about 450 kg) in tropical waters, and has pinkish flesh. Soupfin, a smaller shark, provides the fin used as a gelatin base in Chinese soup. Blacktip, which are found in South Atlantic waters, are often sold in the form of pinkish-white steaks that have ruby-red edges. Mako, an Atlantic shark, is also called bonito shark, because it feeds on bonito tuna and has moist, pink, fine-grained meat. Bonito, a Pacific shark much like mako, has meat that looks and tastes like swordfish. Sandbar, another Atlantic Ocean shark, looks and tastes like blacktip. Spiny and smooth dogfish, also in this family, have richer more fatty flesh than other shark species.

Most shark is sold as steaks or fillets.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

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