Animal rights group to sue French restaurant for allegedly exploiting endangered species of shark

Animal rights group to sue French restaurant for allegedly exploiting endangered species of shark

Photo of restaurant Le Gambaro's employees holding young shark sparks outcry among animal rights activists

By Nur Asena Erturk

An animal rights group will sue a restaurant in southern France for allegedly exploiting an endangered species of shark, local media reported on Monday.

A photo of the restaurant Le Gambaro's employees holding a young shark sparked an outcry among animal rights activists, the daily Le Figaro reported.

Sea Shepherd, a non-profit marine conservation activism organization, announced that it will file a complaint against the restaurant on Levant Island in the Mediterranean, near the city of Marseille.

In a message on social media, the organization recalled that this restaurant has been serving Mako shark dishes on its menu since 2019, adding that they plan to sue the restaurant for "illegal commercialization" of the shark, whose exact species is yet to be determined.

"This species was not strictly protected at the time, but was already under risk of extinction," said Sea Shepherd. "After years of struggle and negotiations, the protection law was adopted but the restaurant did not change its irresponsible habits."

The restaurant denied the accusations and said that it will no longer serve the dish until the national park concludes its analysis of the shark.

The shark measured 1.2 meters (3.94 feet) and weighed 18 kilograms (39.7 pounds) and was dead when it was caught accidentally, said the daily Var-Matin.

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