For more than 400 million years sharks have dominated the oceans. As a species it is widely regarded as a predatory ‘eating machine’ that doesn’t discriminate from fish or humans. This inauthentic fear has earned it a reputation as being dangerous and worthy of contempt.
As a result, sharks have taken on trophy-like qualities for the people that hunt and eat them. This lust for money and a taste for the exotic has landed sharks in deep trouble.
Right now, sharks are among the most valuable and vulnerable animals in the sea.
Massive consumer demand for shark fins and other shark related products have created an industry motivated by high return. Shark fins have become one of the world’s most precious commodities reaching figures of up to $256 per pound. It was recently reported that the dorsal fin of a whale shark alone fetched $15,000 at market.
It is barely surprising then that more than 125 countries around the world now trade in shark products contributing to an uncontrollable surge in the number of shark taken from the oceans. In a little over 50 years the slaughter of sharks has risen 400 per cent to approximately 800,000 metric tons per year.
By 2017 it is anticipated that 20 species of shark could become extinct due to hunting, indiscriminate fishing techniques and, ultimately, man’s greed.
* Sharks evolved long before dinosaurs walked the earth
* Shark fins are amongst the most valuable items taken from the sea
* Consumer demand has prompted a massive surge in its demise
* By 2017, 20 species of shark could be commercially extinct
* 100 million sharks are slaughtered each year
Currently more than 100 million sharks are taken from the seas each year – a rate at which they simply cannot survive.
They cannot survive this onslaught because, unlike many other fish, most large sharks don’t reach sexual maturity until seven years old or even later, and then only give birth to a few pups each year.
Right now, they are simply being caught and killed faster than they can reproduce.
Bite-Back and its supporters together can encourage consumers to make informed choices, change their habits and actively motivate and inspire establishments that sell shark products to stop.
When we stop buying shark meat and fins, they’ll stop fishing for it.
See the campaign section for more information on how you can help reduce the trade in shark meat and other threatened species.
Top 20 endangered Shark species of the world
Endangered Shark Species
1. Ganges shark
2. Borneo shark
3. Basking shark – North Pacific & Northeast Atlantic sub-populations
4. Speartooth shark
5. Whitefin Topeshark
6. Angular Angel shark – Brazilian sub-population
7. Smoothback Angel shark
8. Spinner shark – Northwest Atlantic sub-population
9. Pondicherry shark
10. Smoothtooth Blacktip
11. Blacktip shark – Northwest Atlantic sub-population
12. Dusky shark – Northwest Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico sub-populations
13. Grey Nurse shark (aka Sand Tiger)
14. Great White shark
15. Gulper shark
16. Basking shark
17. School shark (aka Tope shark)
18. Bluegray Carpetshark
19. Porbeagle shark
20. Whale shark
(The sharks listed below have not had enough data collected about them to determine whether or not they are endangered.)
1. Thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus)
2. Java shark (aka Pigeye) (Carcharhinus amboinensis)
3. Kitefin shark (Dalatias licha)
4. Salmon shark (Lamna ditropis)
5. Megamouth shark (Megachasma pelagios)
6. Broadnose Sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus)
7. Bigeye Sand Tiger (Odontaspis noronhai)
8. Narrowmouth Catshark (Schroederichthys bivius)
9. Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)
10. Argentine Angel shark (Squatina argentina)