(OCEAN CONSERVATION/ANIMAL ACTIVISM) Tiffany Vandersloot, founder of the organization TRÄTO (To Rescue Animals of The Ocean), is a visionary in the movement of ocean conservation and marine life protection.
Through TRÄTO, Vandersloot has created a distinct brand with a revolutionary mission, setting a precedent in making marine life protection more than just an ideal, but also a lifestyle.
Vandersloot teamed up with co-owner and Creative Director Ryan Bellerose to create TRÄTO after watching two well-known documentaries, The Cove and Earthlings. Sharing his own experience as a surfer and having a deep spiritual connection with the ocean, Bellerose connected with her vision immediately. Together, they created a brand where both the tonality and visuals were in sync with their mission and vision.
“My unwavering passion has always been fueled with an instinctual fire to protect that which cannot protect itself. It is because we feel the weight that we fight so tirelessly for their freedom. It is because we feel the pain that we work to end it.”
By wearing TRÄTO, supporters represent the equality of all living beings while contributing to the fight against marine life cruelty.
The organization faces battles including the annual death toll of 35,000 endangered sea turtles in black market trade in Mexico, over 22,000 dolphins each year in Japan, and over 248 million sharks throughout the world.
In its active pursuit of justice for marine animals that are victims of human violence, TRÄTO donates 20 percent of its proceeds to like-minded organizations such as Oceana and Ocean Conservation Society.
“Shark finning has caught my attention for its barbaric and senseless practice. It is estimated that over 8,000 tons of shark fins are processed each year, with fins only amounting to 4% of a sharks total body weight. This means that an estimated 200,000 tons are discarded and thrown back into sea, often times, when the shark is still alive.
Without fins to maneuver or to defend themselves, they either die a slow, painful death or are victims to their prey. All this waste and suffering for a highly “prized” soup or delicacy in the Chinese tradition that is said to have no taste. It is up to the people to decrease the demand for such an item by concentrating more on what they are supporting than following a tradition.
The bottom line is this; sharks are endangered and shark finning is a great contributor. According to the Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 18 shark species are listed as endangered. These declining numbers are occurring at such a pace that reproduction rates cannot keep up. It is the goal of TRATO to reverse these numbers through global awareness and action.”
TRÄTO has ambassadors all over the world who are joining in its mission to support and protect the vitality of marine life.
“It is because of the support and recognition that I know we are reaching people, and bit by bit making a difference. That gives me hope and confidence that moving forward and fighting this fight is that much more important at this time in history,” Vandersloot said.
“I truly believe we are in the generation of change and awakening and because of that, we can afford younger generations the beauty of the sea that can so quickly be taken away.”
— Jenny Cho, exclusive to Global Animal