Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge has announced that it is removing shark from its menu in an effort to contribute to the protection of the world’s shark population, which recent studies suggest is threatened due to overfishing.
“As we introduce our new winter menu, we’re excited to add a new layer of commitment to sustainability,” commented Chef Christopher Newark. “Although we are just one small restaurant, we believe in conservation leaders like National Aquarium and their efforts to think globally and act locally. By replacing shark with white fish in dishes like our fish tacos, we’re doing our part to minimize our impact on the environment and protect the fragile oceanic ecosystem.”
Sharks are overfished throughout the world and upwards of 100,000,000 (seven percent of their total populations) are killed every year. Because they have few natural predators, are slow to mature and produce very few young, shark populations are very sensitive to environmental and commercial fishing pressures. Earlier this year, the State of Maryland became the first state on the East Coast to pass a bill prohibiting the sale, trade and distribution of shark fins, however fishing for shark meat is still allowed. National Aquarium worked closely with the bill sponsors, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, Oceana, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and recreational watermen on the issue.
While Maryland fishermen are not themselves contributing to the decimation of the worldwide shark population, there is only one ocean. The continued threat facing these animals at the top of the food chain has consequences for other animals, large and small, and those consequences will ultimately impact us here in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
“Removing shark from our menu was an easy decision and one that fits well with our overall approach to sustainability,” said Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge co-Owner Jody Danek. “We are thrilled to be working with National Aquarium as we learn more about ways we can preserve and protect our ocean while responsibly enjoying its bounty.”
Some of the other sustainable initiatives in place at the restaurant include sourcing ingredients locally when possible and composting food waste.
Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge
Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge is committed to supporting and sustaining our local community, from purchasing fresh meats, vegetables and other ingredients from local vendors whenever possible and practical, to providing aspiring musicians, artists, and performers a venue to showcase their work. By helping to organize local fairs, festivals, and other special events our mission is to build a strong sense of community both within our walls and throughout the surrounding neighborhood. For more information, visit www.metropolitanannapolis.com.