Shark populations around the world are in rapid decline. These ancient predators capture our imaginations, but over 1/3 of all shark species is being pushed towards extinction. Sharks grow relatively slowly, take many years to mature and produce relatively few young. These characteristics make sharks particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation.
These majestic top predators are essential to balance marine ecosystems and to keep them healthy but now face their most severe threat from fishing including overfishing, poorly managed by-catch, illegal fishing and ghost fishing. While sharks have been an irreplaceable resource for coastal communities in the developing world for centuries, this unique balance is in danger of being lost forever.
With our oceans severely degraded, restoring sharks is key to improving the resilience of these water bodies to climate change. While sharks' diverse range of species adds complexity to our conservation efforts, the dwindling numbers of these amazing creatures from fishing and demand for their fins and meat increases the urgency of the task.
Make a symbolic adoption of a shark today to show your love and support for our oceans.
What is WWF doing?
Preventing extinctions has been a primary aim of shark and ray conservation for decades, but the numbers don’t lie. These efforts — including our own — haven’t kept pace with the threats. We all need to raise our level of ambition if we want to reverse the tragic loss of biodiversity in our ocean. More efforts are needed to actively recover depleted populations for the benefit of our ocean and people who depend on it.
In South Africa, WWF-SA’s main intervention is to improve the overall sustainability of fisheries through Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). FIPs that have action plans linked directly to sharks include the tuna pole and line FIP, the yellowfin tuna longline FIP and hake demersal trawl FIP. In addition, independent WWF-SASSI assessments are regularly conducted to inform consumers of the environmental sustainability status of various marine species and which ones to avoid. Check out more on https://wwfsassi.co.za/sassi/ and download the free SASSI app to assist you in making the right choices in buying your next seafood.
WWF-SA also formally objected to the continuation of the demersal shark longline fishery and advocated that the fishery should be phased-out. WWF-SA continues to advocate for an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) that takes an holistic (ecosystem, socio-economic and governance) approach to the management of fisheries as opposed to a traditional ‘target species’ approach. To this end WWF-SA engages directly in the Scientific Working Group (SWG) meetings of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE).
How does the symbolic adoption work?
First of all: thank you. You’re choosing something different. This is a special gift because it will help protect the beautiful and sometimes fragile environments that surrounds us – for both people and nature.
This is a perfect gift for animal lovers, environmentalists or simply people with a big heart.
What you get
A digital symbolic adoption certificate.
A beautiful digital photograph.
An optional soft toy to love forever. *Toy may vary from image shown.
We'll keep you updated on how you're supporting our vital work including sending you adoption updates two to three times a year.
Did you know?
Globally, more people are killed by jellyfish than by shark attacks.
With fossil records dating back 400 million years, sharks have outlived the dinosaurs and many other forms of life currently on earth
All sharks are carnivorous feeding on a broad spectrum of prey (depending on the shark species), from zooplankton, small fish, octopus, squid, birds to larger tuna, billfish, l other shark species, dolphins and even whales
Sharks constantly replace their teeth throughout their lifespan. A new set of teeth develops every two weeks.