Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Worst Images of All Were...

The sea is beautiful above. Below—I hope so.

I first read about Shell Horizons, Inc. last April while I was nosing around Twitter for the Willing Willie child abuse complaint. I do not watch Revillame’s show and I wasn’t able to see the episode where the alleged macho-dance occurred. One tweet led to another and to another tweet with a link to the Shell Horizons, Inc.’s website. The tweet said something like, ‘saving the Philippine seas from illegal coral mining.’

The homepage sports an old look that was common among the HTML-based sites of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  It does have a small Flash clip.  The homepage advertises Shell Horizons, Inc. as the ‘US Largest Wholesaler of Seashells and Seashell Products Since 1976.’  The site’s counter also stated that it has been visited over 10 million times since 1998. I’d say the homepage design works—I got interested to view the rest of the pages.

I first started browsing their products and was surprised to see that they sold, aside from seashells, sea fans—a type of soft coral. I continued browsing around the products page but I never found out where they harvest their products.

I went to check on their contact information. It stated that they only use products from non-endangered species. Also found on the same page is a grainy image of Filipinos, with the shells, with a caption dedicated the families that make the shellcraft industry possible. The people in the picture were all smiles but something in the image brought about sadness. 

It was surprising to learn that an American company could exploit our Philippine seas and could get away with it. 

I was more surprised when I click on the ‘About Us’ page. It wasn’t like any other ‘About Us’ page, it was an image gallery. The images depicted include harvesting shells, cleaning the shells and the firm's finished products. There was also an image of a Christmas tree, made of shells, in the White House’s Palm Room. The worst images of all were—surprise, surprise— the hoards and hoards of corals

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