It was a case of jaws and order.
A Chinese food blogger has been fined nearly $19,000 after filming herself cooking and devouring a great white shark for social media clout.
On Saturday, officials in the city Nanchong announced that they’d slapped the exotica-loving epicurean, known as Jin, with a 125,000 yuan ($18,522) fine for illegally purchasing and eating a wild animal, Fortune reported.
The controversy came to light in July after the fin-fluencer — known as Tizi online — posted a video of herself cooking and consuming a six-foot-great white shark. In it, the foodie can be seen ripping off chunks of Jaws’ flesh before cooking the apex predator’s noggin in a hotpot like a ghoulish bouillabaisse.
“It may look vicious, but its meat is truly very tender,” exclaimed Jin in the sordid clip, which made waves on the Chinese social media platform Douyin.
Jin initially claimed to have bought the shark at a Nanchong shop, but it was actually purchased for 7,700 yuan ($1,141) on Alibaba-owned shopping site Taobao, CBS reported. According to the Saturday report, officials were able to identify the illicit meat as Great White by DNA testing her leftovers.
By eating it, the food blogger had violated China’s Wild Animal Protection Law, which prohibits the commercial trade of certain wildlife species.
Along with the aforementioned fine, authorities have since arrested two people involved in catching and purveying the shark for Yizi’s not-so-great bite.
Jin was also crucified in the court of online opinion. “It is flabbergasting that an internet celebrity can eat a protected animal in front of millions in broad daylight!” fumed one appalled commenter. Another wrote, “These uncultured attention-mongers will stoop very low to attract eyeballs!”
Despite its popularity among Chinese gourmands, shark consumption has largely been on the decline in the Middle Kingdom.
A 2014 report found that the consumption of shark’s fin — a traditional banquet dish — plummeted by more than 80% in the nation’s shark’s fin hub while 85% of surveyed Chinese customers claim they gave up the delicacy in the past ten years, according to Oceana.
This followed efforts by the Chinese to crack down on the dish, culminating in the government banning shark’s fin from official banquets in 2013, Reuters reported.
Efforts to clamp down on fin dining weren’t limited to China. Last summer the US Senate passed the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, “a bill that would ban the buying and selling of shark fins in the United States.”