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EXHIBIT: BENEFICENT SHARK

As long as people find a use for sharks, the “need” for sharks becomes greed and vast populations of the apex predators are quickly decimated. Whether hunted for sport or for their parts, sharks are easily disregarded as species to be protected. This carelessness has enabled many countries to profit in the millions off both legal and illegal fishing for sharks. Their fins, liver oil and hides fetch unspeakable amounts as delicacies all over the world. Historically, even in America, sharks have been over-fished for outlandish claims. The shark does not belong to us. We must leave them to balance the ecosystem.


SELECTIONS FROM BENEFICENT SHARK COLLECTION - LIVING SHARKS MUSEUM


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SHARK SKIN

Once people realized that sharks, while still not regarded as a viable cog in their ecosystem, had other uses, suddenly there was demand. Fishermen could now sell shark skins for top dollar toward the production of “shagreen”, or shark skin leather. On display is also a set of early 1930’s binoculars and their case is wrapped in stylish industrial shark skin leather. Even more prized was the leather of the rays, the “flatfish” members of the shark family.

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SHAGREEN STINGRAY REMNANT

VINTAGE ORIGINAL SHARK LEATHER CATALOG

UNITED STATES 1920’s-30’s

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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SHARK LIVERS

During WW2, soldiers were malnurished and vitamin deficient. Food shortages were prevalent and rations were introduced, as well as Victory Gardens to produce more food from the homefront. Concentrated vitamins were added to food such as Vitamin A, processed from shark livers, believed to improve nightvision for our pilots overseas. Thousands of sharks were slaughtered for the war effort.

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THERMOCOUPLE GAUGE - ADS & PHOTOS

DISTILLATION PRODUCTS IND./EASTMAN KODAK

Shark Liver Oil/Vitamin A Esters Production - 1941-1945

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley


MORE TO COME…

VISIT THE MUSEUM FOR THE FULL EXHIBIT!