Sharks may not be fluffy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve lovin’ too. And unfortunately, they haven’t been getting much of that lately.
The biggest threat to the shark population is finning, and the demand for shark fin is driving sharks to extinction. An estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year and nearly 75% of those are killed for shark fin soup, a delicacy in Chinese culture. Shark fins are one of the most expensive seafood products on the market, while shark meat is much less valuable. Because of this, the fishermen who participate in the shark fin trade harvest only the fins and toss the remainder of the body back into the ocean in order to save space on their vessel, often while the shark is still alive. The shark then dies a slow death from suffocation, blood loss, or predation by another species because it is unable to swim or defend itself.
Is the death of an entire species worth a meal that lasts but a few brief minutes? Kos Check doesn’t think so. We created our special-edition "Shark Sweets" line to celebrate Shark Week and the sweet side of sharks; the side we don’t typically see or think about. While they aren’t cuddly creatures that give you kisses in exchange for belly rubs, sharks are incredibly important to the ecosystem. They are apex predators – at the top of the food chain – and without them, the food chain would be thrown out of whack and the health of the oceans would be at risk.
There are a number of organizations across the globe that focus on spreading awareness of the threats humans pose to sharks, creating shark sanctuaries, and fighting for shark fishing bans.
After much consideration, Kos Check has decided that 10% of proceeds from our “Shark Sweets” line will be donated to Shark Savers, a program of WildAid. Shark Savers' mission is to save "sharks and mantas through building awareness, education, and action," which is exactly the kind of organization Kos Check wanted to support. Their various initiatives include:
- "I’m FINished with FINS" – a campaign aimed at informing consumers about the negative consequences of eating shark fin soup and persuading them to stop eating it in order to reduce demand.
- Shark Sanctuaries – a program that focuses on creating laws, community outreach, and offering alternative livelihoods to those reliant on shark fishing to give sharks safe havens in areas around the world.
- SharksCount – any scuba diver who regularly sees sharks can join the team to log, count, and identify sharks they see during dives in order to contribute to shark conservation research.
The Kos Check team is incredibly excited to be able to back these initiatives, all thanks to those who purchased a "Shark Sweets" shirt to help us do our part to save sharks. "Shark Sweets" is just the first of many Kos Check wildlife designs to come. Stay tuned for more in the future!
Find out more about Shark Savers on their website: www.sharksavers.org