Of the shark and ray species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), nearly 50 percent are threatened or near-threatened with extinction.
Sharks are vital to ocean health. For example, tiger sharks prey on dugongs and green sea turtles, which in turn forage in seagrass beds. A drop in tiger shark numbers leaves more of those prey species to forage, which then leads to depletion of the grass beds—and consequences for a much broader range of species.
To reverse the decline of sharks and rays, Pew works internationally to influence fishing nations and the treaty organizations that regulate high seas fisheries and trade in endangered species. We also work with governments to designate sanctuaries in waters that still have diverse populations of sharks and to advocate regionally and internationally for shark conservation.