One of T&T’s most popular street foods has long been bake and shark, slices of seasoned shark meat, served hot in a floaty fried bake and slathered in delicious chadon beni, tamarind and garlic sauces, and topped with fresh pineapple and salad. The bake and shark capital of Trinidad is Maracas Beach, where scores of vendors compete with stalwart operator Richard’s to draw in the queues. Delicious as shark and bake may be, however, you might want to think twice before tucking in. Sharks are increasingly rare in Caribbean waters, as they are globally. Trinidad and Tobago hold the dubious honour of being the sixth-largest exporter of shark fins in the world, while overfishing and the practice of landing juvenile sharks has pretty much decimated the shark population in local waters. Sharks play a vital role in the already fragile ecosystems of the Caribbean Sea, and the decrease in their numbers is having dire consequences for the region’s reefs and its fish populations. For this reason, T&T’s environmentalists advocate asking for more sustainable fish with your bake: flying fish, mahi-mahi, carite and tilapia are all sound choices.


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