The Shark Conservation Fund focuses on halting the overexploitation of the world’s sharks and rays, preventing extinctions, reversing declines and restoring populations. We believe that major investments in the form of grants to non-profits and academic institutions are needed in policy development, outreach and advocacy, conservation science, communications and media, capacity-building, and long-term monitoring.
Our goals are to:
1. Protect the most endangered sharks and rays by enhancing legal protections in priority countries and through international forums;
2. Combat unsustainable trade in shark and ray products through listing the top species of sharks and rays in global trade and that meet CITES listing criteria on CITES Appendices and implementing those listings; and
3. Promote the sustainability of shark and ray fishing through the adoption and implementation of conservation and management measures through international forums and in priority countries.
Our priority areas of investment are:
Protecting the most endangered sharks and rays
· Protection of imperiled endemic sharks and rays in Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and South Africa.
· Conservation of widely distributed and/or highly migratory imperiled sharks and rays through actions by international fisheries and conservation forums.
· Protection of the most endangered families of sharks and rays – Sawfish, Angelsharks and Hammerhead Sharks.
Combating unsustainable trade
· Making CITES listings work globally and in high priority countries, particularly through training, developing tools and guidelines, and capacity building.
· Preparing and advocating for additional listings of shark and ray species that are the top species in global trade and that meet CITES listing criteria.
· Developing and introducing traceability systems for CITES listed sharks and rays so that their products are traceable and discernible from non-listed species in trade.
Promoting the sustainability of shark and ray fishing
· At the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission through the adoption of management measures including:
· Adoption of precautionary science-based catch limits for shark species that are biologically able to support fishing;
· Standardized and increased observer coverage; and
· Improved transparency and compliance with shark and ray conservation and management measures.
· In target countries, the adoption of management measures such as precautionary catch limits, time/area closures, gear restrictions, and fishing gear modifications to promote the restoration of sharks and rays threatened with extinction.
· Research and pilot programs designed to, among other things, identify and protect pupping and nursery habitats within the Exclusive Economic Zones of priority shark fishing nations, if the information gained will be directly used for management.
The SCF’s Investment Strategy provides more detail on these priority areas of investment. These priorities will be reviewed annually and modified if necessary.