Iberostar has moved to apologise after a picture of a whole shark carcass on a barbecue buffet caused outrage among consumers and agents.
A petition calling for shark to be banned from Iberostar's menus drew more than 900 signatures and was backed by travel agents writing on the Travel Gossip Facebook page.
The Spanish hotel chain said it had not used the image taken at the Iberostar Averroes in Tunisia for promotional purposes.
A spokesman said: “We regret that this practice took place in our facilities as it is not in keeping with our philosophy of commitment to and respect for the environment and our natural surroundings.
"We ask for forgiveness and assure that it does not take place now, nor will it do so in the future. These were one-time initiatives which were completely disbanded as of 2012.”
He added: “Iberostar would never use images such as these for promotional purposes. The photographs are published on websites unconnected to the company and we have requested their immediate removal since they relate to practices which no longer exist.”