Each year, at least 63 million and as many as 273 million sharks are killed in the world’s commercial fisheries, many solely for their fins, which are used in shark fin soup. Almost half of the shark species and their relatives assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are threatened or near threatened with extinction.
Sharks are vital to ocean health. Protection and management of these species provide ecosystem, environmental, cultural, and economic benefits. 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.