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Marine Wildlife: Sharks

Sharks have been swimming the world’s oceans for more than 400 million years. While they have survived mass extinction events, sharks have not evolved to withstand overexploitation by humans.

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February, 2009

The European Commission released the Community Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks

Many of Europe’s shark and related ray populations have been depleted in the past 30 years, primarily due to fisheries overexploitation by large European shark fishing fleets. The Plan of Action does include some positive aspects, including a shark discard ban and a requirement to land shark fins and bodies at the same time and in the same port.

January, 2009

Saving hammerhead, thresher, blue and shortfin mako sharks

The Spanish government, after consulting with Oceana, committed to advancing new shark legislation that would ban the catch of threatened hammerhead and thresher sharks, put in place catch limits for blue sharks and shortfin mako sharks, and evaluate the viability of landing sharks “whole” with their fins attached. Spain is one of the largest shark fishing and exporting countries in the world.

December, 2007

Ending the sale of shark-based squalane

Thousands of Oceana supporters contacted the Vermont Country Story, a leading catalog retailer, to convince it to stop selling a skin enhancer containing squalane. The oil is obtained from the livers of deep-sea sharks threatened by extinction. In an ironic note, the product was marketed under the name “Oceana.”

January, 2007

Ending the online sale of shark fin soup

Oceana supporters bombarded online retailer with requests to stop selling shark fin soup. Within hours, had pulled the item from its virtual shelves. Tens of millions of sharks are killed each year for their fins. According to scientists, shark populations are crashing around the world.

September, 2006

Protecting Sharks from Finning in the EU

Oceana and other members of the Shark Alliance scored a major victory for sharks in the European Parliament when the Parliament decided to reject a recommendation from its own Fisheries Committee to increase the allowable ratio of shark fins to bodies from 5 percent to 6.5 percent.


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