The shark is harvested for a natural oil used in the COVEDI-19 vaccine candidates. This natural oil is called squelane, which is currently used as an adjuvant in medicine – an ingredient that enhances the vaccine’s effectiveness by creating a strong immune response.
About 3,000 sharks are needed to extract one ton of squalene.
Shark Alleys, a California-based group, said that everyone in the world would have to be vaccinated with a single dose of a Kovid-19 vaccine that would require about 250,000 sharks, depending on the amount used. If two doses are required, it doubles to half a million, as researchers say.
According to shark allies, the target species to be rich with squalene include sycamore sharks and basking sharks, which are classified as vulnerable, meaning their populations are decreasing and if threatened they will May be in danger.
Advocacy groups have said that harvesting an endangered species for an ingredient in medicine is not sustainable.
“Harvesting something from a wild animal is never sustainable, especially if it is a top predator that does not breed in large numbers. How unknown and how long this epidemic can last, and then how many versions of it we have to go through, that if we keep using sharks, the number of sharks taken for this product is actually higher It may happen, year-on-year, ”Stephanie Brendel, founder and executive director of Shark Allies, told a US-based news website.
To avoid the threat of shark populations, scientists are testing an alternative to squalene – a synthetic version made from fermented sugarcane.
According to estimates made by conservationists, approximately three million sharks are killed each year for squalene, which is also used in cosmetics and machine oil.
There are fears that a sudden increase in liver oil demand may threaten populations and endangered more species.