How your beauty routine might be killing sharks

July 20, 2020 by  
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Even before Jaws , people were fascinated with sharks. But they are much more than the menacing villains they portray in movies. Their beauty is impossible to ignore. There’s a whole week of TV dedicated to sharks, because it’s so easy to celebrate these animals. Sharks are at the top of their food chain, so it’s hard to imagine these beautiful beasts could ever be in danger. But there’s an even more powerful hunter prowling the oceans and putting these animals at risk: humans. Every year, millions of sharks die for common makeup products. The secret life of shark oil Human skin naturally produces squalene, a hydrating oil. Many cosmetics companies add squalene to their products to supplement the natural squalene your skin produces. It’s a common ingredient in lipstick, sunscreen, eye shadow, lotion and foundation. Squalene is a popular addition to anti-aging creams. You can even find it in hair products. Related: Lather is the PETA-approved skincare that reminds us all to slow down There are many sources of squalene in plants. You can find it in yeasts, wheat germ, olives, sugarcane and rice bran. However, plant-based squalene is 30% more expensive to make than squalene found in animals. The cheapest source of animal-based squalene is found in sharks. Around 2.7 million sharks are killed annually for cosmetic industry products. That’s an even bigger problem as the number of sharks in the oceans is dwindling. Sharks 101 Sharks actually predate the dinosaurs — by more than 200 million years . They’ve survived major climate changes, possibly one catastrophic meteor impact and more than one massive extinction event. But now, shark populations are declining at alarming rates around the world. Almost one-quarter of all shark species are officially threatened with extinction . Compared to other marine animals , sharks produce very few offspring. This makes them even more vulnerable to human threats. In addition to being hunted by cosmetic companies, sharks are hunted by commercial fishers who hope to cash in on selling shark fins. The fins are a delicacy used in soup . The WWF has flagged several shark species for concern, including the hammerhead, because their numbers are dwindling so dramatically. The Shark Allies One company hopes to save the sharks. Since 2007, Shark Allies has been fighting for these finned swimmers of the deep. Shark Allies was started by Stefanie Brendl. She began scuba diving at 22 and started working with sharks in Hawaii. In an interview with Inhabitat, she spoke about how she came to love sharks and why she knew she had to help them. “I ran a shark diving operation in Hawaii for several years, photographing and diving with sharks of all shapes and sizes,” Brendl said. “Through that work, I came to realize that I had to do something to protect them, so I switched gears to focus on shark conservation .” Brendl was traveling in Indonesia and Micronesia in the 1990s. That’s when everything changed. “We actually saw first-hand a long line fishing vessel that had pulled into the harbor with dried fins hanging off the railings. This hit me particularly hard because this is a place that is famous for shark diving and [one] that was putting great efforts into protecting their sharks. It came as such a shock to me and it inspired me to learn all I could in the years that followed.” Shark Allies has been hard at work in the years since, sponsoring legislature aimed at protecting the oceans’ most famous predators. Shark Allies helped pass the Kristen Jacobs Ocean Conservation Act in Florida. “This bill bans the import, export and trade of shark fins in Florida, which is currently the biggest hub of the shark fin trade in the U.S. The bill unanimously passed both the House and Senate,” Brendl explained. Shark Allies is also part of the EU Citizens Initiative, a group that is working to bring the issue of the shark fin trade to the European Commission. How you can help Want to become one of the Shark Allies? Brendl says everyone is welcome. “Our mission at Shark Allies is to make it possible for every person to become a warrior for sharks and get involved with shark conservation. We have an entire page that helps people to ‘Take Action Now,’ from emailing your legislatures to putting pressure on manufacturers to stop using shark products.” Shark Allies is also working on its Shark Free Products campaign, aimed at spreading awareness about squalene in the cosmetics industry. For the record, Brendl’s favorite species of shark is the tiger shark — but only for diving encounters. When it comes to saving the sharks of the world, she has no favorites. Brendl hopes to save them all from cosmetics companies. PETA and many other websites offer up-to-date lists of cosmetics companies that do not test on animals, nor use animal-derived ingredients (such as squalene) to create their products. By not buying products made of shark squalene, you can send a strong message to the cosmetics companies that they need to change their production methods. + Shark Allies Images via Pixabay

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Shark fins still being sold in US restaurants amid ban

January 24, 2019 by  
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Shark finning has sparked numerous controversies for the horrible act of animal cruelty that has led to the banning of shark finning in 12 U.S. states. However, the ban is so difficult to effectively enforce that some restaurants in at least 10 of the states still manage to have shark fins on their menus, and some are starting to question if the ban is worth it. Shark finning — the act of slicing fins off live sharks and throwing the wounded shark into the ocean , where they sink and eventually die of suffocation and blood loss — became illegal in U.S. waters back in 2000. Yet, shark fins have been making their way to the states from countries that don’t ban the practice and catch sharks. Although the Animal Welfare Institute in Washington D.C. — who supports the national shark fin ban — updates their yearly list of establishments that serve shark fin soup, restaurants are still featuring the infamous soup on the their menus. According to National Geographic ,  shark fin soup is a “status dish in Asian countries” and has a long history dating back to the Song Dynasty. Currently, the soup is traditionally served at wedding receptions as a sign of respect for guests. Related: Nine more states join seismic blasting lawsuit against the Trump administration The “luxury dish” is prepared by boiling the shark fins and removing the skin and meat. The softened protein fiber that is left behind is then shredded and put into the soup. Trying to ban this item from restaurants is proving to be a major problem for U.S. enforcement agencies due to understaffing. Not to mention, making a case against shark fin vendors can be difficult since the trade is mostly underground, like illegal drugs. “I know it’s going on, I know it’s out there,” says San Francisco marine warden William O’Brien. “But it’s a very private matter — it’s not the kind of thing that, you know, people are selling to the public.” To make matters worse, the fines and jail sentences for violating the ban are usually light and don’t deter the practice. Via National Geographic Images via Shutterstock

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500-mile-long shark highway could become a protected wildlife corridor

May 23, 2018 by  
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For the very first time, scientists filmed sharks traveling along a 500-mile-long shark highway in the Pacific Ocean  that stretches between the Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island. The reason for filming? While Cocos and the Galapagos have protected areas for fish , the shark highway is not included, and scientists want to transform it into a protected wildlife corridor . Costa Rica group Fundación PACÍFICO , a collaboration of four environmental funds, organized an expedition to videotape the shark highway. President Zdenka Piskulich told NPR it’s difficult to get people interested in a corridor out in the ocean , but “finally we have visual evidence that there is a huge abundance in this area that needs to be protected, that there really is a highway.” Related: Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats The scientists utilized GoPro-style cameras, fish bait and metal frames to create what are called baited remote underwater video systems, or BRUVS. They dragged these behind a research boat for nearly two weeks. Biologist Mario Espinoza said, “We actually documented over 16 species of sharks and fish, also sea turtles and dolphins …It’s really surprising to see that many animals .” Sharks — including hammerhead, thresher and silky sharks — were the predominant marine animal. The shark highway follows an underwater mountain range, or seamounts, according to Fundación PACÍFICO . Espinoza said this was “the first time we actually documented animals using these seamounts. We don’t know exactly whether they are feeding or they’re like stopping by or using these seamounts as navigation routes.” Lee Crockett of the Shark Conservation Fund said sharks straying outside of protected areas are at risk of being caught on the long lines of high seas tuna fishing. Some species of hammerhead sharks are endangered ; others are declining. He described protecting this shark highway as “the next step in conservation .” + Fundación PACÍFICO Via NPR Image via Depositphotos

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Hundreds of dead sharks wash up on the shores of the Persian Gulf

December 20, 2017 by  
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Officials in Iran came across a gruesome sight this week: hundreds of dead sharks washed up on shore . The cause isn’t some natural phenomenon – hunters have been illegally capturing the sharks, sawing off the fins and tossing them back into the water, where they got caught up in currents and eventually wound up on land. Hossein Delshab, an official in the city of Bushehr, told a local news agency that hundreds of dead sharks had recently washed up on the shores of Shif island, raising “an alarm about the extinction of sharks” in the area. Related: 512-year-old Greenland shark may be the oldest living vertebrate on Earth Although shark fishing has been banned in the area since 2014, high demand for their prized fins has made hunting them worth the possible fine if the poachers are caught. Violators can be fined up to $7,000. But because it is believed that shark fin can help with sexual disorders, they are a popular item in local markets. Via BBC Images via Wikipedia and Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Hundreds of dead sharks wash up on the shores of the Persian Gulf

Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

December 19, 2017 by  
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People’s Architecture Office just unveiled a futuristic cultural center in China that is equipped with detachable room that serve as “cultural satellites.” The incredible building – called the People’s Station – uses the flexible mini-structures to add extra space when necessary. When not in use, the mini-buildings can be collapsed and transported by bike to other locations. The architects used their own prefabricated system to manufacture the building, which took just three months to construct. Located in a quiet region of Yantai, the building’s design was created to attract visitors to the historic center of the city. Its funky angular volume is comprised of wide open entryways and various sections that seem to float off the ground. Related: China’s new futuristic library is unlike any we’ve seen before On the inside, the exhibition rooms are the first two floors are expansive, with high ceilings that are staggered up diagonally up to the second and third floors. Triangular glass panels flood the interior with natural light . On the top floor, visitors can enjoy a lounge area with a bookstore and a cinema. Throughout the building, there are various outdoor terraces that offer beautiful views of surrounding cityscape, as well as the ocean in the distance. + People’s Architecture Office Via Archdaily Photography courtesy PAO  

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Futuristic art center in China has detachable rooms that can bike around town

American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

October 27, 2017 by  
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Two women from Honolulu, Hawaii , are basking in sweet relief as they and their dogs were rescued after spent five months stranded at sea in shark-infested waters. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava set a course for Tahiti on May 3rd but suffered engine failure and a broken mast when a storm battered their boat. Fortunately, they had water purifiers, a year’s worth of dog food, and rice, pasta, and oatmeal. The basic supplies kept them alive long enough to be spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan . On Wednesday morning, the day after Appel and Fuiava were discovered, the USS Ashland (a 610-foot Navy ship) rescued them from the boat. Said Appel in a statement, “I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief.” Less than a month after the women set sail for Tahiti , they hit a patch of bad weather. Calling for help was impossible, as their only phone went scuba diving on the first day. For five long months, they drifted in the Pacific Ocean , sending out distress calls and waiting for help. “It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless,” Appel said. “The only thing you can do, you use what you can and what you have. You have no other choice.” Believe it or not, lack of food wasn’t the greatest concern – the boat was constantly surrounded by sharks .“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along,” Appel said. “They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night.” After Fuiava and Appel were brought aboard the USS Ashland, they received medical assistance. They will remain aboard until the Ashland’s next scheduled port of call. Related: US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef On Thursday, footage of the rescue (above) was released. Their reaction to being saved is both exciting and touching. Said Commander Steven Watson, Ashland commanding officer, in a statement: “The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation.” Via Gizmodo U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay

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American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

October 27, 2017 by  
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Two women from Honolulu, Hawaii , are basking in sweet relief as they and their dogs were rescued after spent five months stranded at sea in shark-infested waters. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava set a course for Tahiti on May 3rd but suffered engine failure and a broken mast when a storm battered their boat. Fortunately, they had water purifiers, a year’s worth of dog food, and rice, pasta, and oatmeal. The basic supplies kept them alive long enough to be spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan . On Wednesday morning, the day after Appel and Fuiava were discovered, the USS Ashland (a 610-foot Navy ship) rescued them from the boat. Said Appel in a statement, “I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief.” Less than a month after the women set sail for Tahiti , they hit a patch of bad weather. Calling for help was impossible, as their only phone went scuba diving on the first day. For five long months, they drifted in the Pacific Ocean , sending out distress calls and waiting for help. “It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless,” Appel said. “The only thing you can do, you use what you can and what you have. You have no other choice.” Believe it or not, lack of food wasn’t the greatest concern – the boat was constantly surrounded by sharks .“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along,” Appel said. “They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night.” After Fuiava and Appel were brought aboard the USS Ashland, they received medical assistance. They will remain aboard until the Ashland’s next scheduled port of call. Related: US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef On Thursday, footage of the rescue (above) was released. Their reaction to being saved is both exciting and touching. Said Commander Steven Watson, Ashland commanding officer, in a statement: “The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation.” Via Gizmodo U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay

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American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

October 27, 2017 by  
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Two women from Honolulu, Hawaii , are basking in sweet relief as they and their dogs were rescued after spent five months stranded at sea in shark-infested waters. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava set a course for Tahiti on May 3rd but suffered engine failure and a broken mast when a storm battered their boat. Fortunately, they had water purifiers, a year’s worth of dog food, and rice, pasta, and oatmeal. The basic supplies kept them alive long enough to be spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan . On Wednesday morning, the day after Appel and Fuiava were discovered, the USS Ashland (a 610-foot Navy ship) rescued them from the boat. Said Appel in a statement, “I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief.” Less than a month after the women set sail for Tahiti , they hit a patch of bad weather. Calling for help was impossible, as their only phone went scuba diving on the first day. For five long months, they drifted in the Pacific Ocean , sending out distress calls and waiting for help. “It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless,” Appel said. “The only thing you can do, you use what you can and what you have. You have no other choice.” Believe it or not, lack of food wasn’t the greatest concern – the boat was constantly surrounded by sharks .“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along,” Appel said. “They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night.” After Fuiava and Appel were brought aboard the USS Ashland, they received medical assistance. They will remain aboard until the Ashland’s next scheduled port of call. Related: US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef On Thursday, footage of the rescue (above) was released. Their reaction to being saved is both exciting and touching. Said Commander Steven Watson, Ashland commanding officer, in a statement: “The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation.” Via Gizmodo U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay

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American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

October 27, 2017 by  
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Two women from Honolulu, Hawaii , are basking in sweet relief as they and their dogs were rescued after spent five months stranded at sea in shark-infested waters. Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava set a course for Tahiti on May 3rd but suffered engine failure and a broken mast when a storm battered their boat. Fortunately, they had water purifiers, a year’s worth of dog food, and rice, pasta, and oatmeal. The basic supplies kept them alive long enough to be spotted by a Taiwanese fishing vessel roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan . On Wednesday morning, the day after Appel and Fuiava were discovered, the USS Ashland (a 610-foot Navy ship) rescued them from the boat. Said Appel in a statement, “I’m grateful for their service to our country. They saved our lives. The pride and smiles we had when we saw [U.S. Navy] on the horizon was pure relief.” Less than a month after the women set sail for Tahiti , they hit a patch of bad weather. Calling for help was impossible, as their only phone went scuba diving on the first day. For five long months, they drifted in the Pacific Ocean , sending out distress calls and waiting for help. “It was very depressing, and it was very hopeless,” Appel said. “The only thing you can do, you use what you can and what you have. You have no other choice.” Believe it or not, lack of food wasn’t the greatest concern – the boat was constantly surrounded by sharks .“We were slowly maneuvering through their living room. They came by to slap their tails and tell us we needed to move along,” Appel said. “They decided to use our vessel to teach their children how to hunt. They attacked at night.” After Fuiava and Appel were brought aboard the USS Ashland, they received medical assistance. They will remain aboard until the Ashland’s next scheduled port of call. Related: US Navy Will Recover the Bombs it Dropped in the Great Barrier Reef On Thursday, footage of the rescue (above) was released. Their reaction to being saved is both exciting and touching. Said Commander Steven Watson, Ashland commanding officer, in a statement: “The US Navy is postured to assist any distressed mariner of any nationality during any type of situation.” Via Gizmodo U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay

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American women and their dogs rescued after surviving five months at sea in shark-infested waters

Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

October 27, 2017 by  
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You know plastic waste is a problem. But Jeff and Dane Anderson, twin brothers in California , are trying to do something about it. They started a company, Full Cycle Bioplastics , to make a fully biodegradable plastic . They aren’t the first to do so, but they utilize cheap, readily available organic waste to make their bioplastic . Food waste, dirty paper or cardboard, or agricultural byproducts become compostable plastic in Full Cycle Bioplastics’ process. Jeff Anderson told UPROXX they’re able to utilize any organic waste to create a plastic known as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). “If it ever falls into the ocean , it actually acts as fish food, or bacteria food, and has no toxic effects,” Anderson said in an UPROXX video . Related: Egyptian scientists turn dried shrimp shells into eco-friendly plastic Full Cycle Bioplastics breaks organic waste down into feedstock, given to naturally occurring bacteria that consume the waste and convert it into PHA. The company then dries and processes the PHA into a resin product. Anderson said their bioplastic could be used for bags, to-go containers, utensils, water bottles, or shampoo bottles, to name a few. Dane Anderson said it’s great for the bioplastic to return to them after use, because they can turn it back into plastic again. But it will harmlessly break down in nature if it’s discarded. One reason bioplastics haven’t taken over the world yet is their expense, but the brothers bring down costs through their process. They don’t need land to cultivate crops, nor do they use genetically modified bacteria. We may not be able to totally get rid of plastic – just a glance around where you’re sitting right now will likely reveal several items manufactured with the stuff polluting our planet. But Jeff told UPROXX their bioplastic can serve as a direct replacement – one that’s far better for the earth. + Full Cycle Bioplastics Via UPROXX Images via Full Cycle Bioplastics and screenshot

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Twin brothers convert organic waste into truly biodegradable plastic

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