• Life Planet Project

Sharks in Fridges

Updated: May 12, 2018

In Costa Rica shark meat is legal.

That's right. You can catch, kill and sell sharks as you would with snapper or tilapia.

When you tell people this, their reaction normally falls in one of three categories.

In Costa Rica shark meat is legal.

The Shocked Environmentalist

is disgusted in surprise, enraged and disappointed. Will have doubts about eating ceviche for the rest of his life.

The Timid Ignorant

stares blankly at you looking for a clue on whether to act pleased or horrified by your statement. Wishes he knew more about it to form an opinion on it but is too afraid the truth will devastate him.

The Stupefied Curious

senses the gravity of the situation but realises he knows nothing about the subject and asks you to tell him more.

There is no right or wrong, everyone is entitled to a reaction. It's what happens after that defines the culture change we need.

The Culture Change Project

One of the goals of Life Planet Project is to educate the communities by increasing awareness.

For that, we recently paired with Supermercado Pacifico in Uvita. We met the manager in the store, and it turned out to be a Stupefied Curious. Leo was on our side.

A few days later, we took an hour of spare time with the top ranks of the supermarket management and flooded them with information on shark population decline, the importance of sharks in our oceans and the problems related to shark fishing and finning.

When we started, we asked them: "what do you now about sharks?"

The brutally honest reply was some sort of "nothing, just that they are dangerous predators".

Twenty minutes later their jaws were gaping and eyes watering at the sad truth that 95% of sharks are gone for good. They learnt that a live shark makes more money than a dead one. And saves the planet as a bonus.

Then, we showed them a picture, taken in their very same supermarket. This:

Shark Fillet for sale at the local supermarket

They wouldn't believe it. They had to raise from their chairs and come closer to the screen and verify.

They didn't know.

Now they do.

Now they won't order ceviche without asking what fish it's made with.

At dinner they'll tell their kids about the baby hammerheads of Golfo Dulce that don't make it to adulthood.

They'll tell friends about the 98% of hammerhead sharks we killed in the last 40 years.

They didn't know. Now they do.

Next step, the owners.

Let's get shark meat out of the fridges.

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