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

  • Chinese Business Executives Lead the Way on Shark Conservation

    • Other Resource
    • Apr 22, 2014

    Four of China’s most successful business executives have been recognized as “Global Shark Guardians” for their work securing a ban on shark fin soup at Chinese state banquets. On April 17, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Nature Conservancy, and WildAid honored Guo Guangchang, Wan Jie, Ding Liguo, and Zhang “Jim” Xingsheng at the annual meeting of the China-U.S. Business Leaders Roundtable in New York.

    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: