Environmental Initiatives

Media Inquiries

If you are a journalist and would like additional information, please visit the Media Contacts page.

Media Contacts

Subscribe to News Feeds

Pew offers news delivered to your desktop via RSS feed. Subscribing is easy. To learn more or get started, follow the link below.

Subscribe to News Feeds

For The Record

When Pew’s work is questioned or criticized we respond through letters to the editor or op-eds.

Read Pew's Responses

Sharks Win Big in 2011

Other Resource

2011 was a banner year for shark conservation.

In just 12 months, leaders from various nations banded together to make protection of these essential creatures a priority. Commercial fishing of these animals is now prohibited in more than 4.7 million square kilometers of ocean (1.8 million square miles) that have been declared shark sanctuaries, an area more than two times the size of Greenland. States around the world—from California in the United States to the remote Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific—have enacted trade bans on sharks and shark products.

Click on the images below to learn more about the world’s achievements in shark conservation.

U.S. Shark Conservation ActCommonwealth of the Northern Mariana IslandsGuamCNMI

HondurasBahamasIATTCChile

TokelauMarshall IslandsICCATUnited Nations


January

U.S. Shark Conservation Act

President Obama signs the U.S. Shark Conservation Act into law. It closes loopholes in the previous law and positions the United States as a voice for international shark conservation.


January

CNMI

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands bans the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins. The law also forbids the landing of sharks at all ports within the archipelago. Coupled with the U.S. Shark Conservation Act, this means that there is a ban on the retention of all sharks caught in the waters of this U.S. territory.


March

Guam

Guam bans the possession, sale, and distribution of shark fins. Working in concert with the U.S. Shark Conservation Act, this law bans the retention of all sharks caught in Guam’s waters.


June

CNMI

The Association of Pacific Island Legislatures issues a resolution stressing the need for additional action to protect sharks. Shortly thereafter, leaders at the Micronesian Chiefs Executive Summit begin the process of creating a regional sanctuary where shark fishing would be prohibited.


June

Honduras

Honduran President Lobo Sosa establishes a shark sanctuary in the country’s waters. This area, approximately the size of the United Kingdom, is now off limits to all shark fishing.


July

Bahamas

The Bahamas prohibits all commercial shark fishing in the country’s waters. Shark-related tourism has contributed more than $800 million to the Bahamian economy over the past 20 years, and this decision reinforces research that sharks are more valuable alive than dead.


July

IATTC

Members of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission agree to protect oceanic white tip sharks in the eastern Pacific. Once widespread and abundant, this species has suffered dramatic declines, partially due to the tuna fisheries that operate in the shark's habitat.


August

Chile

Chile bans shark finning and requires all vessels catching sharks to land them with their fins attached.


September

Tokelau

Tokelau, a self-administered territory of New Zealand comprised of three atolls in the South Pacific, declares itself a shark, whale, and turtle sanctuary.


September

Marshall Islands

The Republic of the Marshall Islands establishes the world’s largest shark sanctuary, which covers an ocean area about three times the size of France.


November

ICCAT

The 48-member International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas agrees to ban the retention of silky sharks accidentally caught in fishing gear. Between half a million and one and a half million silky sharks are caught annually for their fins.


December

UN

The UN General Assembly acknowledges the growing movement to establish shark sanctuaries in its 2011 Sustainable Fisheries Resolution. Leaders representing eight countries came together at the United Nations earlier in the year to launch a new shark conservation effort, committing to support the development of sanctuaries that end commercial shark fishing in their national waters.

 

Related News and Resources

  • Protecting the High Seas From Peril

    • Other Resource
    • Apr 01, 2014
    All the activity in the open ocean raises questions about who is monitoring and managing the ocean’s long-term health. As of now, the job is vacant, which is why delegates from around the world are at the United Nations in New York City this week.

    More

  • Climate Change Taking Toll on the Ocean

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 31, 2014
    A United Nations panel released its latest assessment of the impact of climate change on the world’s environment, focusing on issues such as food supply and economic security.

    More

  • Pew Comments on Amendment 28 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 25, 2014
    On March 25, 2014, Chad W. Hanson of The Pew Charitable Trusts wrote a letter to Doug Boyd, Chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, regarding Amendment 28 to the Reef Fish Fishery Management Plan [Red Snapper Allocation].

    More

  • Pew le otorga al científico Hoyt Peckham la beca de investigación 2014 en conservación de recursos marinos

    • Press Release
    • Mar 12, 2014
    El Dr. Hoyt Peckham, un pionero en la incentivación de la pesca artesanal para promover el manejo de los recursos marinos con sede en La Paz, México, ha recibido una beca de investigación Pew 2014 en la conservación de dichos recursos marinos para ampliar su trabajo en la incentivación de la pesca sostenible a lo largo de la costa del noroeste de México a otras comunidades de la región y a nivel mundial. Peckham está trabajando con los pescadores locales y sus cooperativas para restablecer el valor de sus pesquerías, reforzando sus prácticas de sostenibilidad mediante el aumento de la demanda de sus mariscos y sus pescados.

    More

  • Pew Awards Author Paul Greenberg the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    • Press Release
    • Mar 12, 2014
    Paul Greenberg—an award-winning journalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food—has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation to prepare a book focusing on the human demand for Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood and its impact on the sustainability of the world’s oceans.

    More

  • Pew le otorga al científico chileno Stefan Gelcich la beca de investigación 2014 en conservación de recursos marinos

    • Press Release
    • Mar 12, 2014
    Se ha reconocido al Dr. Stefan Gelcich, profesor adjunto de la Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile con una beca de investigación Pew 2014 para la conservación de recursos marinos en un nuevo proyecto que examinará los incentivos sociales, económicos y ecológicos que permitan desarrollar zonas de protección, en conjunto con pescadores artesanales, a lo largo de la costa chilena. Este científico estudiará la integración de áreas marinas protegidas y pesquerías con derechos de uso territorial, como una estrategia para la conservación a largo plazo de los recursos oceánicos y su sostenibilidad.

    More

  • Pew Awards Shark Scientist Demian Chapman the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    • Press Release
    • Mar 12, 2014
    Demian Chapman, Ph.D., a scientist with Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has been awarded a 2014 Pew fellowship in marine conservation for a new research project to determine how recently enacted international regulations affect the trade in the fins of protected shark species. Sharks have been heavily fished to supply the international fin trade, depriving marine ecosystems of some of their most important top predators and endangering species dependent on them.

    More

  • Pew Awards Malaysian Mammal Scientist the 2014 Fellowship in Marine Conservation

    • Press Release
    • Mar 12, 2014
    Louisa Shobhini Ponnampalam, Ph.D., a scientist with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and co-founder of grassroots NGO, The MareCet Research Organization, has been awarded a 2014 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to conduct new research on the country’s population of dugongs, a large coastal marine mammal that resembles the manatee.

    More

  • Pew on the Road: Visiting Fishing Communities in the Southeast

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 07, 2014
    In just the past two months, Pew staff hit the road to talk with commercial fishermen and their families at a seafood festival, meet with anglers at a boat show, learn about the latest developments in marine science at a fisheries science conference, and film important underwater locations in the U.S. Caribbean.

    More

  • Speak Up for Emperor Penguins

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 03, 2014
    The emperor penguin colony made famous in the Academy Award-winning documentary “March of the Penguins” faces extinction because of climate change.

    More

  • Save the Boreal, Save the Caribou

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 03, 2014
    For millennia, the people who live in the far reaches of North America’s boreal forest have relied on woodland caribou for their survival. Now, the tables have turned.

    More

  • Engineering Pacific Bluefin's Comeback

    • Other Resource
    • Mar 03, 2014
    Pacific bluefin could make a relatively quick comeback from unsustainable fishing practices. They just need a bit of practical help.

    More

  • Dispatch From Fiji: Putting New Shark Protections to Work

    • Other Resource
    • Feb 27, 2014
    The listings in Appendix II of CITES for porbeagle sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two species of manta rays mandate that all international trade in these species must be legal and sustainable.

    More

  • Oregon: One Last Piece of the Puzzle

    • Other Resource
    • Feb 24, 2014
    California and Washington conserve forage fish in state waters for the sake of the ecosystem. Action by Oregon state leaders is the last piece of the puzzle.

    More

  • Technology for Fisheries Monitoring and Surveillance

    • Other Resource
    • Feb 20, 2014
    Monitoring and surveillance of fisheries is a complex and challenging problem. Traditionally, ships and aircraft have been the mainstay of surveillance efforts, however, the use of satellites and other technologies by fisheries enforcement officials has increased in recent years.

    More

See more...

X
Sign In

Member Sign In

Forgot Password?
Submit Not a Member? Join!
X

Forgot Password?

Send Password Not a Member? Join!
X

Change Password

X
(All Fields are required)
Send Message
Share this on: