More Shark Fin Soup = Decline in Pacific Shark Populations

Written by on November 1, 2012 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law

A new study reveals worrying declines in Pacific shark populations, due mostly to the shark fin trade.

The results:

  • Pacific population of the oceanic whitetip shark declined by 17 percent between 1995 and 2010
  • The north Pacific blue shark decreased by about five percent per year in the same period
  • There was a decline in shark size over the 15 year study period, a clear indication of overfishing
NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins.

NOAA agent counting confiscated shark fins. Photo credit: NOAA.

These findings suggest that bans on shark finning are not helping nearly enough to protect sharks.  Their failure is most likely due to lack of enforcement and the increasing market for shark meat.

“These findings underscore conservationists’ messages that most finning bans are not properly enforced, and alone are insufficient to reverse shark population declines,” explained Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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