Squalene is a natural oil substance used in medicine as an adjuvant to increase the effectiveness of a vaccine that can be obtained from the shark’s liver.
It would take 3,000 sharks to extract one tonne of squalene and 250,000 sharks to provide the world population but some scientists believe in order to immunize the population two doses may be needed and it would take 500,000 sharks according to calculations.
There are over 3 million sharks being slaughtered every year for the use of squalene to cosmetics and machine oil.
According to the executive director of Shark Allies, a conservation group, if shark’s continue to get used every year it would be high risk since the wild animal doesn’t reproduce in large numbers.
Scientists are now testing non-animal sources of squalene such as fermented sugarcane, olive oil, and yeast to protect the shark's population.