Sharks are one of the top predators in the oceans, regulating the entire marine food chain. With over 465 known species of sharks living in the ocean, they range in size (from 7 inches to 50 feet) and habitat.
However, overfishing, illegal fishing for their fins, and ocean habitat loss are negatively impacting the vast majority of sharks and rays. In total, an estimated 25% of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction - including the great white, the hammerhead, the oceanic white tip and the whale shark. Millions are killed annually for their fins, used to make expensive Asian shark fin soup. Sharks are particularly vulnerable because of they grow slowly, mature late, and produce few young.
Shark Advocates International:
Shark Advocates International is a project of The Ocean Foundation dedicated to science-based conservation of sharks and rays. SAI works collaboratively to publicize the species’ plight and secure sound limits on fishing and trade. President Sonja Fordham, an award-winning advocate, has been at the forefront of most major U.S. and international shark and ray policy achievements. She is an active member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and many relevant advisory panels.
Wildlife Conservation Society:
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. Sharks are one of WCS’s flagship species. In addition to influencing policy that regulates the shark trade, WCS's field conservation efforts encompass tope and tiger sharks in Argentina; hammerhead sharks in Bangladesh; silky, oceanic whitetip, whale, and blue sharks in Gabon; and many others in Myanmar, Malaysia, Tanzania, Indonesia, and beyond. WCS is working towards improved fishing gear design, data collection and ecological monitoring, marine protected area creation and enforcement, shark trade monitoring, and arrests and prosecutions of illegal traders.