With up to 273 million sharks killed every year, “biologically, sharks simply can’t keep up with the current rate of exploitation and demand. Protective measures must be scaled up significantly in order to avoid further depletion and the possible extinction of many sharks species in our lifetime.”- Lead author Boris Worm. Of the 307 shark species assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 50 are listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, but only the white, whale and basking sharks are protected internationally under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Sharks now represent the greatest percentage of threatened marine species on the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

It is estimated the barbaric process of shark finning, slicing off a shark’s fins and throwing the live shark back overboard to supply the demand for shark fin soup, is the leading cause of nearly 100 million shark deaths every year, decreasing some shark populations by as much as 99 percent. Why do we worry about shark populations?  A healthy and abundant ocean depends on predators like sharks keeping ecosystems balanced.