The Shark Alliance was founded in Europe in 2006 to campaign for an EU Shark Action Plan and to close loopholes in the EU’s ban on shark ‘finning’—the wasteful practice of cutting off valuable shark fins and discarding the body at sea. The alliance was led by: The European Elasmobranch Association, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Project Aware and Shark Trust.

In 2009, the Shark Alliance won a major victory when the EU adopted a Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, setting the stage for sweeping improvements in shark fishing management and protection policies. 

In 2013, after years of debate and a complex political process, the alliance achieved the second of its objectives when the European Parliament and Council of Fisheries Ministers agreed to a regulation requiring that all sharks caught in EU waters or by EU boats globally had to be landed with their fins naturally attached, with no exceptions. 

The EU is fast becoming a world leader in shark conservation, and these significant milestones will go a long way toward ensuring a sustainable future for sharks. 

Yet there is unfinished business to safeguard sharks globally. Although the Shark Alliance campaign came to a successful conclusion, our member groups continue to educate and advocate for science-based shark conservation and management in the EU and around the world. 

Our Work