Stop killing sharks for cartilage quackery

This video is of a frilled shark in Japan.

This 1.6 metre long eel-like animal, identified as a deep sea frilled shark, is usually 600 metres underwater according to Awashima Marine Park officials.

The sharks, while they usually turn up in deep sea trawler fishing nets, are rarely seen alive.

Marine park officials believe a particular seasonal up current from the deep seas carried this one up to the surface.

This one was a female weighing up to 7.5 kilogrammes and unlike most other sharks has six gills and bizarre forked teeth.

Very little is known of this rare deep sea shark, but it is believed to eat squid, fish and other sharks.

Females are believed to have a one or two year pregnancy — making it possibly the longest gestation period of any vertebrae.

Fossil records can be found of this shark up to 80 million years ago, and like another famous deep sea denizen, the Coelancanth, is called a “living fossil”, according to the marine park.

[Mitsuru Sato, Awashima Marine park official]: “We’ve found fossils of these frilled sharks buried in stratum (earth layers) 80 million years old so this is truly a living fossil,”

While the park official hoped to have kept this deep sea monster alive, the shark was unable to survive outside its deep sea environment and died soon after capture.

Reuters reports:

Shark cartilage no help against lung cancer: study

Sat Jun 2, 2007 1:03PM EDT

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON – Shark cartilage, once a hopeful-seeming new approach in cancer treatment, failed to help lung cancer patients live any longer, researchers said on Saturday.

Shark cartilage products have been marketed for years as “alternative” products by several firms, and one Canadian company, Aeterna Zentaris Inc., had been developing one such product as a licensed pharmaceutical.

But the large study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, showed definitively that the product did not work, experts told a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

The study fits in with several others that have been published in recent years showing that various shark cartilage products do not help cancer patients live any longer, or help ease their symptoms.

See also here.

30 ‘Finned’ Sharks Washed Up On New Zealand Beach: here.

Demands For Alternative Therapies ‘Fuels Trade In Endangered Animal Products’: here.

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