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Selfridges swims with sharks to raise conservation awareness

July 2013

London department store Selfridges is ramping up its retail activism in promoting marine conservation by backing a new concept, Shark Parks, areas of the ocean dedicated to the conservation of sharks.

The long term aim is to create Shark Parks around the world, beginning with the waters off the coast of Cornwall in the UK.

With Selfridges’ Project Ocean support, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the Shark Trust will promote this area as the UK’s first ‘Shark Park,’ with a focus on public engagement and scientific research. ZSL will lead the Shark Park project internationally, working with partners in areas such as the Galapagos, Mozambique, Sudan and the Canary Islands, for the benefit of sharks and other wildlife.

Over 15% of the world’s shark species are classified as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and it is estimated that around 100m sharks are killed by humans each year. Six million of these are killed every year for squalene, a compound derived from the oil in shark livers, used as an emollient in many cosmetic products.

With the help of Project Ocean partners ZSL and Oceana, Selfridges has completed an audit of its beauty halls and health concession, ensuring all products are free from shark oil and shark by-products. By announcing itself as 100% shark oil free, Selfridges is hoping to raise awareness amongst consumers and the beauty industry about the issue.

“The unrestricted killing of sharks poses a profound threat to the balance of global marine life. Retailers, shoppers and the beauty industry have everything to gain from increasing their own awareness of the issues and working together to foster change,” says Creative Director and co-founder of Project Ocean Alannah Weston. “Some people call this corporate social responsibility, we call it doing the right thing.”

  • Irving Oil has recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the re-routing of the shipping lanes in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. This precedent-setting initiative, along with other conservation measures, is credited with helping the subsequent growth occurring within the right whale population. Over the past decade, the North Atlantic right whale population has grown by an average of 2% annually, to more than 500 whales. The re-routing of shipping lanes was achieved through collaboration of industry, led by Irving Oil, scientists from the New England Aquarium, academics at Dalhousie University, the Canadian government, professional mariners, and environmental groups. The shipping lane change moved ships away from a significant feeding ground and nursery habitat.

 




Global | Conservation

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