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2 metro Phoenix restaurants serve controversial shark items for ‘Shark Week’

The Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” is back with its 28th installment this week and it continues to be a cultural phenomenon.

Two local restaurants decided to get in on the act with “Shark Week”-themed menu items, but not everyone is singing their praises.

ABC News is reporting that Sandbar, with locations in Phoenix and Chandler, and Salty Senorita in Scottsdale and Peoria are both offering shark-themed items on their menus.

Sandbar, located in Chandler and Phoenix, is offering a Shark Bait Plate — two fish tacos, rice and beans, along with shark-themed drinks.

Salty Senorita isn’t holding back, offering actual shark on the menu. Thresher shark tacos, shark bites and shark salad are available this week. An employee of Salty Senorita told ABC:

“We use Thresher shark in all of the dishes,” Salty Senorita’s hostess Samantha Membery told ABC News. “The salad version is served like a steak on top of a Ceasar salad, and they all come with a side of lime wedges.”

Serving the ocean predator comes with controversy, as many conservationists frown upon the practice. From ABC:

“The Atlantic Shortfin Mako is listed as vulnerable federally, and the National Marine Fisheries Service is asking fishermen to release mako to help stop overfishing of the species in the Atlantic to maintain populations for future generations,” writes Kori Garza, of Haleiwa, Hawaii, in a petition against Syberg’s Restaurants, a small chain based in St. Louis, Missouri, that offers grilled shark chunks served with butter and fruit for $8.99 on its menu. The petition has already gained 1,031 signatures.