Lush Cosmetics covered its Vancouver headquarters with hundreds of cardboard shark fins on Saturday to mark World Oceans Day and call attention to the damage humans are doing to the planet’s oceans generally, and to sharks, in particular.

“Healthy oceans are integral to combating climate change, and as a keystone species, sharks are really under attack,” said Carleen Pickard, an ethical campaigns specialist for Lush. “We hear so often about, you know, big media splashes around shark attacks, but really it’s humans that are attacking sharks.”

One of the biggest threats to sharks is the ongoing consumption of shark fin soup. While harvesting shark fins is illegal in Canadian waters, importing the fins is not. Canada imported approximately 150,000 kg of shark fins in 2018, but a proposed law - Bill S-238 - would ban the trade going forward. The bill passed the Canadian Senate last October and is currently under consideration in the House of Commons.

“We have 100 million sharks a year that are killed throughout the world, and that translates to 11,000 every single hour,” Pickard said. “We put up a number of shark fins on the outside of our building today so that people going across on the SkyTrain, and who are down here, can really see what that looks like.”

The stunt marks the start of a campaign that will see the sale of “shark fin soap” in Lush stores across North America. Proceeds from the sale of the soap, which doesn’t contain shark or any other animal products, will help raise $450,000 to support the launch of the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation. The foundation is named for shark activist and filmmaker Rob Stewart, who died in 2017.