Sharks are greatly important in the ecosystem, as they help to remove the weak and sick below them on the food web. They indirectly maintain seagrass and coral reef habitats by keeping the species below them in the food web in check. Without sharks in the ocean, the balance would be disrupted and it would lead to severe consequences that affect animals, plants, and even humans.
Why Are Sharks Being Killed?
It is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed every year due to commercial fisheries. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classed the species as an endangered species. The IUCN noted that overfishing is one of the biggest reasons for this classification, with many shark populations in steep decline because of it.
This overfishing is caused by ‘the fin trade’ - referring to the use of shark fin in shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy that can fetch thousands of dollars per serving.
Sharks are often caught in indirect ways, as well, through modern fishing practices they’re often caught as “by-catch” in nets along with other unintended species such as dolphin, turtles, and rays.
Due to this overfishing for the fin trade and by-catch, shark populations have decreased by 90 percent in just the last 30 years. As sharks have relatively long maturation times (between 7 to 20 years), it is near impossible for populations to recover as quickly as they are being taken from our oceans.
How You Can Make a Difference
You can help sharks today and everyday. Let people know you care by spreading awareness and fighting for change against the shark slaughter.
Take the pledge to help protect shark species for the future of our oceans. Pledge to:
Eat sustainable seafood. If you can’t easily trace the path from the sea to your plate, find another source.
Speak up. Let’s change the laws that allow the sale of shark fins, killing of sharks, or the finning fishery in a country or state. Let’s fight to change the laws regarding by-catch. Many animals including dolphins, turtles, sharks, and rays get caught in nets meant for other species.
Support sharks, skate, and ray research and conservation efforts. The more we know, the better we can protect them
Share the pledge with friends, family, and everyone else
It all comes down to spreading the word. We have the power to be the change and the voice for those who don’t have one.
This is why we created our Shark Conservation Collection. With every purchase, 10% of the proceeds are donated to Oceana to support their shark research, conservation efforts, and the fight against the fin trade. With every wear, you’re spreading awareness of the fin trade and the issues sharks face every day.