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Portland fish market shares video of hammerhead shark for sale

The video was posted this week on the Harbor Fish Market Instagram account.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland, Maine is known for its award-winning seafood, but when most people think of the city, they probably imagine lobsters, not hammerhead sharks. 

But Harbor Fish Market in Portland posted a video on their Instagram account showing a hammerhead shark for sale. 

In the video, a woman asks a man identified as "Dillon" holding the animal what he's got, and he responds, "I got a hammerhead shark here. Just got two of them in." 

The video shows the animal up close, and afterward, the man holding the shark said it's selling for $5.99 a pound. 

Nick Alfiero is co-owner of Harbor Fish Market. He told NEWS CENTER Maine the sharks came from near Cape Hatteras off the coast of North Carolina. 

Alfiero added they were caught by gillnet fishers, and those boats are allowed to catch hammerheads if they're "caught in the nets and come aboard dead and cannot be thrown back alive." 

Gillnet boats have transponders on their nets that are designed to repel sharks since there are many in those waters, according to Alfiero. 

"I had a chef from a local restaurant that tried it and said it is delicious. It's a very limited fishery, and we probably will not see many of these in the future," the co-owner said. 

The video no longer appears to be available on Harbor Fish Market's Instagram page, but a screen recording of that video was saved.

Discussion of the video made its way to the social media website Reddit, where some commenters questioned the legality of selling a hammerhead shark. 

NEWS CENTER Maine reached out to the state's Department of Marine Resources. A spokesman responded, "Hammerhead sharks are not prohibited from being caught or sold under Maine’s regulations. Sharks, including hammerheads, are considered Highly Migratory Species and regulated by NOAA. Hammerhead sharks are not inherently illegal and can be legally caught and sold following proper permitting and fishing practices." 

A spokesperson for NOAA Fisheries told NEWS CENTER Maine, "Scalloped hammerhead sharks are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in an area from Puerto Rico and south of the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are not listed under the ESA off of most of the coast of the U.S., including Maine."

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