Great white shark meat cooking video gets fined by Chinese food vlogger

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A food influencer in China has been fined 125,000 yuan, or about $18,500, after posting a video of herself buying, cooking and eating a great white shark. Police in Nanchong, in Sichuan province, said in a statement on Saturday that it imposed the fine after determining that the fish featured in the viral video were covered by national wildlife protection laws.

Police said the woman, whom they only identified as Jin – who goes by the on-screen name Tizi – bought the shark at a market on April 13 and her videos featuring the animal have been widely viewed on Kuaishou and Douyin social media platforms. in July, where they drew a number of comments criticizing her. Police said during their investigation they used “DNA barcoding of a residual tissue sample from the shark” to determine it was in fact a protected species.

Police also said the two men who caught and sold her to the shark, whom they identified as “Mr. Shen and Mr. Yan,” were arrested. Police said she paid $7,700 yuan or 1140 dollars for it, using the Taobao shopping site.

In the video, Jin is shown picking up the shark, and she makes a big deal out of its bulk, at one point lying beside it to show that it’s longer than her. She proceeds to transfer to a house, where nearby villagers watch with interest. She explains to the camera that she will prepare the shark with local ingredients, then proceeds to prepare it: its lower half is roasted while the upper half, including the head, is cooked in a spicy broth.

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After documenting the thorough cooking process, Jin and several others enthusiastically consume the fish in the final moments of the video. “We’ve been working on cooking this shark all day and now we can finally eat it!” one says, while another proclaims it “so good”.

Jin reportedly told local media after the video sparked controversy that she had acquired the shark through “legal means”, but officials said at the time that her statement was “inconsistent with the facts” and that the police were investigating the incident.

Great white sharks are classified as “vulnerable” – one step below threatened species – by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Chinese police said it was listed as a protected species under the country’s national wildlife protection laws.

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