Mattel has a product called the Mega Rig Shark Ship where kids can "[rescue] a diver from the jaws of a massive shark." The playset includes a harpoon and a "huge chomping shark with the fiercest teeth."
The Mega Rig Shark Ship perpetuates the shark attack myth -- teaching kids that sharks are fierce killers and deadly force should be used to eradicate them. In reality, shark attacks are rare. But while very few humans are injured by sharks, it is estimated that over 100,000,000 sharks are killed each year by people, mainly for their fins. Some shark populations have been depleted by over 90% and many more are rapidly on the decline, putting the species and our ocean ecosystem at risk.
Mattel is also falsely portraying how divers view sharks. The majority of divers are happy to see a shark while diving, not fearful for their lives, and most are strong advocates for shark protection and conservation. While Mattel is vilifying a species rapidly on the verge of extinction, governments around the world are passing laws to protect sharks.
Kids love sharks, but there are plenty of ways to make shark-friendly toys that don't promote dangerous misconceptions. As the largest manufacturer of toys in the world, Mattel has the opportunity to influence children to play in a way that promotes caring and protection for the world they live in.
Tell Mattel to take the Mega Rig Shark Ship off the shelves.