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Can You Eat Thresher Shark?

Eating shark is a wonderful experience, but you may be unsure which type is best to eat. Thresher sharks aren’t huge like great white sharks, but there are quite a few of them, so they’re not endangered, making them a great choice for fishing. For this reason, many people wonder, can you eat thresher shark? Well, we’re here to tell you that there is nothing better than grilled thresher shark for dinner.

Thresher shark

Do People Eat Thresher Shark?

Shark meat in general is very lean, so it can dry out pretty quickly if you aren’t careful. Most recipes call for marinating thresher shark in milk, saltwater, soy sauce, or vinegar for at least 24 hours before cooking it. This will ensure that the meat is both tender and flavorful. Additionally, if you happen to get a really old shark, this will help mitigate any fishy taste that the meat might have due to age.


The most popular way to prepare thresher sharks is by grilling them like beef steaks. You can’t grill shark for as long as you can beef, though, or the meat will get tough and rubbery. The recommended grilling time is about four minutes per side. They do contain higher levels of mercury, so they should only be consumed once a month if you don’t eat other fish that are also high in mercury. Pregnant women should avoid thresher sharks altogether.

Pelagic thresher and small sharks of a different specie in the fish market
Pelagic thresher and small sharks of a different specie in the fish market

About Thresher Sharks

These sharks are prevalent in Mid-Atlantic, New England, and Southern waters, and can grow to be up to 20 feet long. They can also weigh as much as 600 pounds, especially since they can live to be 50 years old and never stop growing during that time. This means that thresher sharks can yield a ton of meat, so if you’re planning a shark feast, the thresher shark can certainly handle a crowd of hungry diners.


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Taste of Thresher Shark

Overall, compared to other fish, the thresher shark tastes most like beef, but it’s still mild in flavor, especially young sharks. You’ll find that the older the shark, the more fishiness there is to the taste. However, marinating the meat for about 24 hours will remove much of the fishy taste and leave a nice, firm, mild meat. Its consistency is compared often to halibut, and it is one of the most popular types of shark to eat.


Eating Thresher Shark Raw

Although rare, thresher shark meat is safe to eat when raw, but it’s typically prepared as a ceviche rather than as sashimi. This is because ceviche uses acids such as lemon or lime juice to remove any overly-fishy flavors.


Mostly, people cook shark meat, including that of thresher sharks, because it tastes great when grilled, fried, or baked. There’s no need to eat it raw when you have so many ways to make a delicious cooked meal from the meat.


Additional Information

If you are not careful when preparing a thresher shark to eat, it may smell and taste like ammonia even after it’s cooked. This is because sharks expel their urine through their skin. For this reason, it is imperative that you bleed, gut, and clean a thresher shark as soon as you get it on your boat. You cannot wait until you get to shore because the urine will concentrate in the skin as the thresher dies.


If you’ve landed a thresher shark, you probably feel like you’ve conquered the beast of the ocean. You should celebrate by cooking it up and eating it. Just take care to prepare it properly, wait at least 24 hours while the meat marinates, and you’ll have a meal you’ll never forget! 

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