Your article praising the catch of a Porbeagle shark off the Devon coast (Oxford Mail, August 11) was hardly a "fintastic affair".

Fishers Restaurant should know that this species of shark is classed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union.

I quote the Marine Conservation Society's Good Fish Guide: "The North Atlantic population of Porbeagle has been seriously over exploited."

The ignorance expressed in the report is compounded by that of the owner of Fishers Restaurant, who is quoted as saying that basking sharks are common, implying that they are available for food. The basking shark is listed as vulnerable worldwide, and endangered in the north-east Atlantic.

Restaurateurs, journalists and consumers have a responsibility to be aware of the impact of their actions. Fishers Restaurant should follow the practice taken by Loch Fyne Restaurants, which were the first British restaurant chain to remove from its menus species recoomended by the Marine Conservation Society to be avoided. provides advice on buying fish and information on stocks which are depleted or over-fished.

The arrival of a rare species on our shores ought to be a cause for celebration, not an opportunity for financial gain.