France 2 will broadcast the third installment of Sur le front on Tuesday , the new documentary series dedicated to environmental issues from France Télévisions. In this issue devoted to endangered animals, the journalist Hugo Clément focuses in particular on the sale of sharks in French supermarkets. At the microphone of Philippe Vandel on Monday, he said he had discovered that certain brands were illegally selling sea veal in their fishmonger shelves while this species is threatened.
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"We still sell sharks, protected and endangered species in certain French supermarkets and in certain fishmongers," says Hugo Clément, who notably visited an Intermarket in Lot-et-Garonne to conduct his investigation. "We can find fox shark (also called sea calf) in this case, in fishmongers, in supermarkets. This is problematic because people who come to buy this flesh do not necessarily know that it is a threatened species of extinction ", specifies the journalist.
The sale of sea veal allowed by "a loophole in the legislation"
How, in France, can these shark nets be found on the stalls of fishmongers? Because of "a loophole in the legislation", answers Hugo Clément. "When sharks are caught accidentally, when we find a threatened shark in a net, we have the right to sell it except that obviously no one is there to verify that the catch is accidental. It is impossible to check, "he explains.
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Following this discovery, Hugo Clément contacted the Intermarché group for explanations. In a telephone extract from the documentary broadcast in Culture Media , a representative exclaims: "Oh no! Ohlala! Yes, I know what a fox shark is ... The group prohibits the sale of protected and endangered species . But sometimes it turns out that business leaders ... Call it an error or ignorance. I don't know how it happens there. It is necessarily an isolated case, "she laments.
For his part, Hugo Clément believes that these sea veal sales are more frequent than the Intermarché group claims. "It's still isolated cases that recur fairly regularly with this brand," he said.
Doubtful food supplements
Another product implicated in this investigation: food supplements based on shark cartilage. "When we buy this, we just read that it is to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, that it is full of vitamins C", he describes, supporting evidence, pointing to a box of food supplements, in the studios of Europe 1. "In fact, looking at the ingredients, we read 'centrophorus squamosus'. Obviously, nobody knows what it is. It's Latin", continues Hugo Clément.
This expression turns out to be "the scientific name of the Atlantic Sorrel, a shark threatened with extinction", reveals the journalist. Hugo Clément explains that he found several boxes of this type in French supermarkets. "We find in capsules, in food supplements sold in supermarkets in the Parisian suburbs of the shark threatened with extinction, without knowing it. It is clearly a deception for the consumer because the word 'shark' is not marked anywhere on this box of food supplements, "he explains.
Threatened species, the shark is still intensively fished in Europe. The thresher shark, which is on the way to extinction, is even still sold in some supermarkets in France. The report from @ HugoClement.
Tuesday at 21.05, the full survey: #OnTheFront of threatened animals. pic.twitter.com/DYTkuaiv6f
If the word is indicated on certain boxes, the consumer does not have all the keys in hand to learn more. "They never give species," points out Hugo Clément. "We don't know if it's a threatened shark or not."
Around the world, there are around 500 species of sharks: a third of them are threatened with extinction.