Protecting Marine Ecosystems Starts at the Top of the Food Web.

Humans hunt and harvest 100 million sharks each year for industries such as beauty, food and pharmaceuticals, according to researchers at Dalhousie University. Shark Awareness Day and Shark Week are not only reminders about the importance of reversing these harmful practices but also why sharks are so important. This begs the question: how does using Neossance Squalane — an alternative to shark-derived squalane — contribute to healthier ecosystems?

Sharks Are Overfished, Which Destabilizes Ecosystems

Sharks are a keystone species, responsible for maintaining marine ecosystems in balance. Because sharks are apex predators at the top of the food web, they keep their prey in check — preventing an abundance of one predator over another. This delicate balance maintains marine ecosystems, ensuring that no single species overtakes the population. Without sharks, the number of lower-chain predators increases, allowing new species to colonize habitats and disrupt biodiversity.

Yet for decades, millions of sharks were killed each year to extract Squalane from their livers for use in beauty creams and oils. Deep-sea sharks continue to be hunted for their exceedingly oily livers which maintain a buoyancy essential for movement in the deep sea. Sixty shark species are fished specifically for their liver’s oil, twenty-six of which are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Thirty percent of all shark and ray species are now classified as ‘Threatened’ or ‘Near Threatened’ according to IUCN. The numbers of threatened species may be even higher, due to a lack of data for many shark species globally.

Swap Sharks for Sugarcane

Neossance Squalane, which is derived from sugarcane, can easily replace shark-derived squalane, providing a sustainable alternative to hunting endangered sharks. Sugarcane is an ideal renewable resource as it requires little to no irrigation and has multiple growing seasons. Using our sugarcane fermentation process, one hectare of sugarcane is able to produce the same amount of Squalane as 23,000 sharks. As a result, Aprinnova is able to offset the demand for more than 4 million sharks each year.

In addition, the sugarcane used in our fermentation process is Bonsucro certified, which is the highest standard for ethical and sustainable sugarcane sourcing. Mills that are Bonsucro certified reduced GHG emissions by 31% at the farm level and 20% at the mill level, compared to non-Bonsucro-certified farms and mills in Brazil. The waste products from sugarcane fermentation can be used downstream for generating power or upcycling to create Biosilica from bagasse ashes.

Launch Excellent Products Without Destroying Ecosystems

Using sustainable Neossance Squalane doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. Brands that opt for sugarcane-based Squalane can leverage its multiple science-backed benefits in skincare, haircare, color cosmetics and more. Brands can also educate consumers about their commitment to respecting biodiversity to help stabilize ecosystems.

Shark awareness day is a renewed opportunity to understand the impact sharks have on the environment and how ingredient sourcing can protect the environment without sacrificing product performance.

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