That’s not what those advertising gurus meant by “the other white meat.”
Amid a recent spate of shark sightings and attacks, an incendiary foodie hits back: A popular Chinese social media personality is being investigated after swallowing a great white shark, as seen in alarming pictures is now going viral online.
“He may look vicious, but his meat is really, really tender,” exclaims the fine-fluencer, known as Tizi, while ripping chunks of flesh from Jaws in the controversial clip, reports the Times of London. She posted the clip in mid-July on Chinese video-sharing platform Douyin, where she garnered nearly 8 million followers in eat various edible exotics.
In her latest risky foodie feat, Tizi decided to turn the tables on the ocean’s largest predator by swallowing a six-foot shark she claimed she bought from a market in Nanchong, Sichuan.
The shocking video, which was deleted following a backlash but resurfaced on YouTube, shows the epicurean unwrapping and lying next to the over 6-foot-long shark, which dwarfs the fun-sized glutton by one head. The massive beast is then cut in half, basted and barbecued, before its massive noggin is simmered in a flaming pot.
A subsequent investigation by Nanchong police revealed the species to be a great white shark, which is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature — an echelon under danger. Meanwhile, the huge beasts are classified as protected in China with illegal possession of the creature punishable by five to 10 years in prison, reports the Guardian.
However, in the video, Tizi insisted the shark was ‘edible’ and ‘raised in captivity’ – a suspicious explanation given that great whites usually only mate in the wild and take decades to reach. sexual maturity, according to marine life experts.
The aforementioned police investigation revealed that the slippery foodie also bought the shark online at a seafood market in Fujian, while the Nanchong shop merely served as a backdrop for the ill-seen feast. Many local journalists suspected that the shark had been purchased without a permit.
“It cannot be ruled out that there is a black market,” said the newspaper, one of China’s government-run media outlets, according to The Times. “After all, shipping a large shark from the coastal region to Nanchong [an inland city more than 1,100 miles away]it requires coordination.
The local media continued, “We must crack down on the illegal hunting and trade of endangered wildlife and eliminate the criminal chain.
Chinese netizens didn’t seem too happy with Tizi heading to town for his good bite.
“It’s amazing that an internet celebrity could eat a protected animal in front of millions of people in broad daylight!” wrote a dismayed commenter.
Another wrote: ‘These uneducated attention dealers will stoop very low for eyeballs!’
It is still unclear whether Tizi will be penalized for eating a vulnerable species.
However, the practice of eating sharks is largely on the decline in China. A 2014 report found that consumption of shark fin – a traditional banquet dish – has dropped by more than 80% at the National Shark Fin Center, while 85% of Chinese customers surveyed say they have given up the delicacy over the past ten years, according to Oceane. This followed the efforts of the Middle Kingdom to suppress the dish, resulting in the government ban shark fin from official banquets in 2013reported Reuters.
Meanwhile, last summer the US Senate passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, “a bill that would ban the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States.” Oceana reported.
“Today is a great day for sharks and our oceans,” Whitney Webber, campaign manager at Oceana, said at the time. “We are now on the verge of officially withdrawing the United States from the shark fin trade.”
Coincidentally, shark activity has recently increased on the east coast of the United States. Florida swimmers evacuated water on Saturday after large sharks were spotted patrolling the shallow waters near where the children were playing. Last week, alarming drone footage showed sharks – including great whites – circling in the water 100 feet from Long Island beaches.
This follows an increase in sightings, prompting authorities to close beaches in the area.