A comparison of the heart and muscle total lipid and fatty acid profiles of nine large shark species from the east coast of South Africa
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We have assessed the fatty acid profiles of the hearts and different muscle tissues from nine large shark species (Carcharhinus limbatus (blacktip), Carcharhinus obscurus (dusky), Carcharhinus brevipinna (spinner), Carcharhinus leucas (Zambezi/bull), Galeocerdo cuvier (tiger), Sphyrna lewini (scalloped hammerhead), Sphyrna zygaena (smooth hammerhead), Carcharodon carcharias (great white) and Carcharias taurus (raggedtooth/grey nurse/sand tiger)) found off the east coast of South Africa. While there was generally little variation between the species, all species showed profiles rich in both n6 and n3 polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to terrestrial commercial meats that have low n3. Thus, utilizing skeletal muscle tissues from sharks caught as part of the bycatch when fishing for teleosts would avoid unnecessary wastage of a potentially valuable resource, with all the possible health benefits of high quality protein combined with balanced polyunsaturates, although contamination with high levels of metabolic wastes, such as urea, may be a negative consideration.
KeywordsShark Heart Muscle Fatty acids
The authors would like to recognize the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board operations and laboratory staff for providing the shark liver samples without which this project would have been impossible. The authors would like to thank the University of the Witwatersrand for financial and infrastructural support of this project.
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