China influencer could face jail for illegally cooking & eating great white shark on live stream

Sharks are classified as a vulnerable species.

Belmont Lay | August 03, 2022, 03:36 AM

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A Chinese influencer is under police investigation after she was seen on video roasting and eating a great white shark.

The vlogger, popularly known by her online pseudonym Tizi, was feasting on the apex predator fish, which police in the central city of Nanchong confirmed on Sunday, July 31 was a great white, AFP reported.

What she did

Tizi was seen biting off the animal's barbecued meat in a video posted in mid-July.

She said: "It may look vicious, but its meat is truly very tender."

The video has since been deleted following widespread outrage.

The footage included a scene where she unwrapped a 2m-long fish and laid down next to it to show that it is taller than her.

The shark was then sliced in half, marinated and barbecued.

Its head was cooked in a spicy broth.

Influencer responds

Tizi has almost 8 million followers.

She has since told local media that she acquired the shark through "legal channels".

But her claim has been called out as suspect as the local agriculture bureau said on Aug. 1 that what she was saying was "inconsistent with the facts" and that police are investigating.

Sharks protected in China

The International Union for Conservation of Nature list great white sharks as a vulnerable species, just one step before being classed as endangered.

Finning and industrial longline fishing have decimated shark populations.

In China, they are listed as protected.

Illegal possession can lead to a five-to-10-year prison term there.

In response to Tizi's video, one commenter said: "These uncultured attention-mongers will stoop very low to attract eyeballs!"

Despite its vulnerable status, dried baby shark flesh is used as a cat food sold in many online stores in China.

In recent years, binge-eating videos, known as "mukbang", have been slammed in China for being wasteful and excessive, with authorities looking into clamping down the practice based on moral grounds.

All photos via Weibo