Stop Slaughtering Millions of Sharks in the Name of Science

Target: Fabian Manning, Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Goal: Approve plant-based squalene products for vaccination studies.

Nearly 3 million sharks are killed each year and their livers are harvested for cosmetic and vaccination purposes. This has created a new fishing industry called “livering” where the hunted animal’s liver is removed on the boat, and the carcass is dumped back into the ocean. Help protect these majestic animals, and approve plant-based alternatives for vaccination trials.

Sharks’ are harvested for squalene, an oil from their liver that is used in vaccines as an adjuvant to boost the immune system for a stronger, longer-lasting effect. Sharks use this fatty substance to provide buoyancy. Deep sea sharks are predominantly sought after because their livers are bigger providing more squalene, yet they are in particular danger of extinction. Increasing vaccine demand to match the growing population poses an enormous threat to the already critical shark situation.

Plant based options are available and have already been found to be a viable substitution for shark derived squalene. Olive oil, sugar cane, wheat and rice germ, bacteria, yeast, and amaranth seeds can all provide ethically sourced squalene. Yet these options derived from plants cost more and yield less, so drug companies are selling their integrity for a profit. While plant-based options have been found effective, they are not approved for human trial and so sharks continue to be slaughtered in the name of science.

Sign below and demand the government allow ethical squalene to be used in vaccination trials, giving the struggling shark communities a chance to recover.


Dear Senator Manning,

It is concerning to the global ecosystem that sharks’ livers are being harvested for use in vaccinations. Approximately 3 million sharks are “livered” each year, where their livers are harvested and the rest of the carcass is left to rot in the water. The diminishing shark populations need to be preserved and protected, and I encourage you to support the use of plant derived alternatives in vaccines.

Squalene is the oily substance that is extracted from shark’s livers for use a vaccine adjuvant which improves the vaccine’s effectiveness. However, squalene can be produced from numerous plants, including olive oil, sugar cane, wheat and rice germ to name a few. This ethical squalene is proven to be just as effective as that derived from animals, but it is not approved for clinical trials. The drug industry does not support plant-based alternatives as they are more expensive, but that is a price to be paid for the moral high road.

I understand your senate committee supports Bill S-238, which works to stop the trade of shark fins. I urge you to take the protection of the world’s sharks a step further and support the approval and use of plant-based squalene in vaccinations.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Kris Mikael Krister


One Comment

  1. We need to unite together globally and exterminate each and every, vile animal abusing/killing scumbag! A slow and agonising death for these evil cretins is essential~!

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