How South Australian Shark Cartilage Started
So how did a lobster fisherman create an all natural product that would provide pain relief for osteoarthritis sufferers?
It all started in a little fishing town called Port Lincoln at the bottom of Australia.
After a 25 years at sea, retired rock lobster and shark fisherman Jeff Dale knew the power and wonder of the ocean like the back of his hand. In 1994 he found an interest in shark cartilage and it’s surprising healing benefits for arthritis. Using his knowledge of the sea he came up with the unique idea of ‘cleaning’ shark cartilage with sea lice at certain stages of the moon’s phase.
Fascinated by the workings of the sea, Jeff discovered that sea lice come out to play in swarms on the new moon. Since sea lice will gravitate toward any kind of meat and are highly efficient ‘cleaners’ of the ocean, he realised that the lice would be a brilliant and natural way to clean the meat off the shark cartilage, thus removing the need for a chemical cleaning process.
And so, the experiment began.
Jeff began testing his theory by taking pieces of shark cartilage (remnants of shark caught by shark fisherman) placing them into specially crafted mesh bags and dumping them into the ocean at the precise time – at the dark moon. He would then leave his bags in the ocean for an exact period time to let the sea lice work their wonders.
When Jeff returned to the sea to haul in his bags, he was overjoyed to find only completely smooth and clean cartilage remained. All the flesh had been efficiently eaten away. His theory worked. And the experiment paid off.
This stage of production rapidly became the core uniqueness of his cleaning method in comparison to others.
After considerable financial investment and time, the process eventually became successful enough for Jeff to feel confident to continue further. This new found confidence in this unusual and unique cleaning method encouraged Jeff Dale to proceed to the 2nd & 3rd stages of production with the same standard of purity. For example – No chemicals are used at any stage of the production process.
For the first years, the business was operating from Jeff and Yvonne’s home where they were able to supply local and country customers. Soon the demand extended to other areas in South Australia and the business had no choice but to expand to a larger office facility in Port Lincoln employing 5 office staff by the year 1997.
The natural quality and benefits to the users was proving very successful and the increase in demand for the product began to escalate nationally. Jeff and Yvonne then found it necessary to expand the line of product to include another 2 size units to satisfy the national demand for SA Shark Cartilage. A more sophisticated unit was added to include a 100 x 500mg capsule bottle and 400 x 500mg capsule bottle. A new and innovative business development had begun.
Australian Listed Complementary Medicine
In November 1998, South Australian Shark Cartilage became a listed and approved complementary medicine. This is an over-the-counter medicine which meets the Australian standards for quality, safety and efficacy by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The listing enabled us to claim our product ‘may provide temporary relief from the pain associated with osteoarthritis ‘. In addition, it may assist with joint mobility associated with osteoarthritis.
The company’s expansion continued from there. Today South Australian Shark Cartilage (SASC) has several full-time and casual staff, including broker representation nationally; and distribution to approximately 28 national warehouses.
In 2005, we introduced a larger 60 capsule unit of South Australian Shark Cartilage 750mg. We have been able to make this product extremely economical and easily available online at www.sashark.com
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