Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Living on Sharks and the Sea

Today, I ate uncooked shark meat. Can you believe it?

SharkMeatAllow me to explain from the beginning. Despite the rain today, our group spent much of the day exploring the coasts of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The views were beautiful! There were many cliffs, so we had to be careful not to slip over the edge.

Since Iceland is an island, many of the people here live off the resources of the sea. Being a fisherman seems like a good choice of professions here!

See the little guy there? He's fly fishing!

See the little guy there? He’s fly fishing!

The seafood is very popular here. I’ve only been here two days, but I’ve already had my fair share of fish!

Today we dined in a tiny restaurant overlooking the crashing waves. Our group barely fit inside!

Tiny Restaurant

The sea is very powerful here! It doesn’t look too easy to swim in there.

Powerful

We even saw some remains from shipwrecks.Shipwreck

My favorite stop was a small family farm at the end of a little road, otherwise known at the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum! SharkSign

At this little farm, a man and his father (and HIS father before that) make their living off of shark meat.They produce a traditional Icelandic delicacy called Hákari, which we got to try. From the outside, the place looks like a regular farm, but then you walk into this old barn that is converted into a museum, packed with family relics.

It’s not a traditional museum, but everything there is really personal to the family, which was really neat. It’s kind of like walking into someone’s attic and exploring all their old family heirlooms. Here’s a little video I took to try to give you a sense of what it was like! They even had their grandfather’s old boat in there!

The owner taught us all about how they make the shark meat. Basically, nowadays, they buy sharks from fishermen who accidentally caught them in their nets. Museum1They slice up the by-catch into small chunks, and then they put it into these wooden boxes with slats in the sides, so the juice can ooze out. When it is fresh, it is actually toxic to people, but it turns out that if you leave it like this for a while, it ferments and somehow turns into healthy meat. Then, they take this uncooked meat, dry it out to get it to be the right texture, and then freeze it when it’s ready. On the outside, it looks all brown and gross, but then when you cut it open, the meat inside looks like a fresh white fish. And then you can eat it! To me, it tasted sort of… fishy… but it was ok. I didn’t split it out or anything. And apparently, it’s actually really healthy once treated in this way.

Healthy

We learned all sorts of other things about sharks too. For example, did you know that they have several rows of teeth, and the top row falls out after about 3-4 weeks, making way for the new row?

Also, we got to see a bunch of items that these guys found inside of the shark stomachs – a polar bear skin, a small whale tail, and much more.

SharkStomachOverall, I was very impressed by this innovative family. If you lived in Iceland, what kind of business do you think you’d want to start? Be creative — how could you use the resources of the sea to your advantage and make some good money?

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24 thoughts on “Living on Sharks and the Sea

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  1. Spencer E-C on said:

    The museum looked really cool. I would like to be there. I never realized that people eat shark meat. I would like to have some it sounds good and tasty.

  2. Jack P on said:

    It must be really cool to eat shark.

  3. I’d love to try shark! I would also like learning about sharks, and to see remains of animals people found in sharks. It was cool that you found remains of shipwrecks!

  4. Kirsten J. on said:

    I was so interested in this blog because I liked the shark facts and the artifacts the museum had.

  5. jordan be on said:

    I think it is really cool that they have there own famliey musame that looks like a barn from the outside.i also think that how they eat shark meat sounds kind of weird but cool at the same time. If i went to iceland i would defintley try shark it sounds pretty awsome!overall i think that is awsome how you got to travle to iceland.see you soon!

  6. jordan b on said:

    I think it is really cool that they have there own famliey musame that looks like a barn from the outside.i also think that how they eat shark meat sounds kind of weird but cool at the same time. If i went to iceland i would defintley try shark it sounds pretty awsome!overall i think that is awsome how you got to travle to iceland.see you soon!

  7. justin r on said:

    awsome i love fishing i would probley love that place.I love fishing but i hate fish would i like to go there?

  8. Josephine N on said:

    The seafood looks amazing! I did not know that sharks have seven rolls of teeth.

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