Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oceana's Work to Keep Sharks Safe

Oceana, one of the Endangered Species Coalition's member groups, is working to protect sharks. We thought our readers would be interested to learn more and have asked Oceana to do a guest posting to our blog. Check it out!

Dr. Lark: Stop Using Sharks

Hi all, Emily Fisher, online editor from Oceana here.

At Oceana, we work to protect the world’s oceans, and one of our campaigns is devoted to saving sharks, which are some of the ocean’s most important – and most threatened – predators.

Right now we’re especially concerned about beauty care supplier Dr. Susan Lark. She promotes squalane – an ingredient found in the livers of sharks -- for its ability to help skin “maintain its moisture and elasticity.” But squalane can be obtained from much more abundant sources, including olives.

Deep-sea sharks are some of the most vulnerable sharks in the world. They typically grow slowly, mature late in life and have only a few young during their long lives. As a result, deep sea shark populations are at extreme risk from exploitation and recover very slowly.

Dr. Lark claims this product is okay because the sharks are caught as bycatch in the orange roughy fishery. But get this: to catch orange roughy, heavy trawl gear is pulled over seamounts - underwater mountains teeming with fish, deep sea corals, and large sponges – scooping up everything in its path.

This dirty fishing practice has decimated the populations of orange roughy, deep sea sharks and other species while damaging corals that are thousands of years old. That’s why virtually all “safe seafood guides” beg consumers to avoid eating orange roughy altogether.

Help us in our fight to save sharks – tell Dr. Lark to stop using shark squalane. These predators are crucial to the health – and beauty – of our oceans.

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