She Cooked and Ate a Great White. Now, an Apology

Chinese food blogger was fined $18.5K after noshing on protected species, showing it online
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2023 8:36 AM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2023 2:30 AM CST
UPDATE Feb 22, 2023 2:30 AM CST

Chinese food blogger Tizi is apologizing after one of her viral social media videos showed her eating what turned out to be a protected great white shark. She insists the online seafood seller from whom she procured the shark, and with whom she had worked before, assured her it was OK to eat, Vice reports. "Some species of sharks could be eaten legally and that was what I assumed when I filmed the video. I was truly fooled," she says in a new social media post. "I would like to make up for my shortcomings because as someone who shoots videos, I should be spreading correct information. I reflected on my own mistakes and will keep learning new knowledge about marine life."

Jan 31, 2023 8:36 AM CST

In November, a Thai woman attracted the attention of authorities after eating a bat on camera. Now, a neighbor to her north with a similarly adventurous palate is facing down a hefty fine after a social media video showed her chowing down on a great white, reports CBS News. A nearly five-minute-long video on the Chinese site Douyin (basically TikTok) shows a very animated Chinese food blogger who goes by the name of Tizi picking up the approximately 6-foot-long shark at a local fishmonger. Per a statement from Nanchong officials cited by Gizmodo, the woman, identified as Jin Moumou, had procured the shark on April 13 of last year for about $1,140, on the Alibaba-owned Taobao marketplace.

After some posing for pictures with the shark, to the delight of local children, Jin is seen transporting the shark to a separate location, with assistance. After preparing the shark, complete with seasoning, for the grill, Jin cooks the animal over the open flame, then throws a large chunk of it into a giant wok for a stir-fry. Then it's back onto the grill, after which Jin can be seen diving into a hunk of the grilled section, tearing whole strips off with her teeth. "Don't be fooled by its scary appearance, its meat is very tender," she says to whatever fans might be watching without their hands over their eyes. A shorter "best of" clip of sorts can be seen here. The footage went viral over the summer, and a probe was started by officials in Nanchong, located in Sichuan province.

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Jin at first insisted she'd legally purchased the marine creature, as it had been "bred in captivity," per the South China Morning Post. But using tissue remnants from the shark, scientists tied its DNA to that of a great white, a protected species in China under the nation's Wild Animal Protection Law, deeming it a high extinction risk. Anyone caught breaching that law—which bars anyone from transporting, buying, or selling great whites—could see up to 10 years behind bars or a steep fine. Jin has reportedly been hit with the latter, forced to fork over $18,500. Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs say the value of the shark was only about $3,700, per the statement. Meanwhile, the fisherman who caught the shark and the market owner who sold it to Jin have been arrested. (More great white shark stories.)

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