Unilever, an international manufacturer of leading brands in food, personal care and household products, has announced that it will remove shark squalene from its cosmetic brands, including Pond's and Dove.
According to Unilever, based in London, the new production that uses a plant-based version of squalene will begin early this year and new formulations are expected to appear on consumer shelves as early as April 2008.
Squalene and squalane, a product derived from squalene, are widely used in cosmetics as natural, "oil-free" moisturizers and can be found in products ranging from anti-aging cream to lip gloss.
Squalene is an organic compound found in the livers of sharks, and is in especially high concentrations in the livers of deep-sea sharks (those living in ocean depths of 300 to 1500 meters).
Deep-sea sharks are at such a great risk of overfishing that scientists have concluded they should not be caught at all.
But alternatives do exist - squalene is available in a number of botanical sources, including rice bran, wheat germ, amaranth seeds and olives.