Over 70 million sharks are killed to satisfy our enormous demand every year! Now Singapore has been identified as the world's second largest trader for shark fin. Shark fin soup has been a tradition at Chinese festive celebrations and wedding banquets. But growing demand of shark fin soup is pushing our sharks to extinction and disrupting the balance of our oceans.
82% of people we've talked to think that a shark fin alternative at a banquet is acceptable. So let's reduce the demand for shark fin further!
Join thousands of people who've taken the #NoSharkFin pledge. Add your voice below to say
I do not consume shark fin.
I do not serve shark fin in my banquets and corporate functions.
I do not present shark fin to others as a gift.
How many sharks are killed?
Nearly 100 million sharks are estimated to be killed each year. The real figure could be anywhere between 63 and 273 million sharks each year. The shark fin trade accounts for around 73 million shark mortalities every year.
Is catching and trading sharks illegal?
No, it is not illegal if national laws governing fishing activities are strictly followed. However, the enforcement of such laws is limited in most cases.
It is estimated that around 60 million sharks are caught under conditions that violate national laws and management measures. This is called Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) fishing.
Shark fishing is banned in some countries like the Maldives and Palau. Other countries, like India, have banned the act of hunting sharks just for their fins.
Shark fishing is also banned in Marine Protected Areas around the world. Find out how you can support our efforts to protect sharks in the Palawan Marine Protected Area (link to GC item).
Many fisheries don’t cut the fins off and throw the shark back into the sea anymore – so what is the problem?
The fundamental cause of the global shark crisis is that shark fishing is unsustainable. This means sharks are being removed from the ocean faster than they can replace themselves.
For some shark populations, declines of over 90% are reported. This decline will continue if fishing pressure continues as it is now.
Are there any sustainable fisheries for sharks?
As a general rule, there is no sustainable shark fishery. Many fisheries have tried to get a certification but not succeeded. An exception to the rule is one shark fishery, which catches the US Atlantic spiny dogfish for its meat.
How many sharks are left? Are they really endangered?
One in four sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. It is difficult to say exactly how many sharks are left as counting ocean populations is challenging. But we do know that some shark populations have experienced significant declines – some in excess of 90%.
What is shark fin demand like in Singapore?
A 2016 survey by WWF-Singapore has found that 8 out of 10 of people in Singapore have stopped ordering shark fin, citing shark protection and environmental concerns as key reasons.
You can read this report here.
Other countries eat shark meat too, so why is WWF only targeting fins?
We target issues most relevant to our region. In Singapore and Asia, we focus on shark fin because the demand for fin lies here. The main consumers of shark meat are Europe and South America. Our WWF offices and other NGOs in these regions are tackling this issue.
Find out more about our global work on sharks here.
Does it really matter if we lose sharks?
Yes. Sharks are top predators and help to maintain balance in the ocean ecosystem. This helps to keep ecosystems and other fish populations healthy.
The collapse of shark populations will eventually affect our access to seafood, a crucial source of protein for millions of people.
Can we farm-raise sharks?
There are no farms for sharks in the world. Sharks have slow reproduction rates, and in general take many years to reach maturity, have a long pregnancy and give birth to few young. This makes farming them challenging and inefficient.