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News Gallery

5 ways in which sharks and rays help ecosystems, other species, and people.

Added to Blogs on 08 June 2020

By Magda Nieduzak

Let’s celebrate some of the most enigmatic and misunderstood creatures of the blue – sharks and rays, which are crucial for the health of our planet! Here are 5 incredible ways in which sharks and rays help the world, from fighting climate change, to sharing food with their neighbours, to growing phytoplankton, and more.

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WWF calls for stronger action on the back of record shark fin seizure in Hong Kong

Added to Press Releases on 03 June 2020

Hong Kong’s largest ever seizure of shark fin, confiscated by Customs earlier in the year, is confirmed to have been illegally exported. The statement was made by the Ecuadorian authorities at a press conference held on 1 June 2020. The two consecutive shark fin shipments, totalling 26 tonnes and valued at HKD 8.6m (USD 1.1m), were seized by the Hong Kong Customs on 28 April and 4 May.

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© Paul Hilton / WWF
© Paul Hilton / WWF

Species for Sale: Manta Ray

Added to Blogs on 01 June 2020

Manta rays - giant cartilaginous fish found in tropical and subtropical seas - are slow breeding and naturally uncommon. Along with the closely related devil rays, mantas are targeted for their gill plates, which are sold dried for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Although gill plates are rarely prescribed by TCM practitioners, they became highly sought after over a decade ago thanks to traders in Guangdong aggressively marketing them as a health tonic ingredient. Find our more in this blog by Thomas Gomersall of WWF Hong Kong.


Two major tools for shark research and conservation now also available in Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, and Spanish

Added to Press Releases on 02 March 2020

3 March 2020 – As part of the ongoing efforts to develop and share latest resources for science-based shark conservation and management, WWF’s Sharks: Restoring the Balance just released Bahasa Indonesia, Portuguese, and Spanish language versions of two major publications focused on marine protected areas (MPAs) for sharks and rays and collecting scientific data for these species.

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Migratory sharks and rays receive extra protection at the recent global meeting of the Convention on Migratory Species

Added to Updates on 25 February 2020

22 February 2020 marked the end of the 13th Conference of the Parties (CoP13) to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Taking place in Gandhinagar, India, the CoP13 concluded with positive results for several species of threatened migratory sharks and rays.

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(c) CMS COP13
(c) CMS COP13

Increased protections for migratory species but a step change in ambition is needed for global biodiversity protection

Added to Press Releases on 24 February 2020

13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP13) to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) concluded in Gandhinagar, India, on 22 February 2020. The global wildlife meeting agreed increased protection for jaguar, Asian elephant and Oceanic Whitetip shark, but pointed to difficult negotiations on a global framework for biodiversity protection post-2020.

See WWF International Press Release

Mixed results from WCPFC annual meeting for sharks and rays in the Pacific

Added to Press Releases on 13 December 2019

12 December 2019 – The 16th annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) concluded yesterday, 11 December, bringing both good and bad news for sharks and rays in Western and Central Pacific. The Commission is making some progress but struggling to address the full range of overfishing-related issues affecting these species.

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IUCN Red List Update: Ongoing industrial fishing drives pelagic sharks and rays closer to extinction

Added to Press Releases on 11 December 2019

11 December 2019 - The International Union for Conservation of Nature released updates on the conservation status of 29 species of sharks, rays, and skates on 10 December 2019. These Red List reassessments reveal a particularly high extinction risk in pelagic species, with some of the most iconic animals now Critically Endangered or Endangered due to overfishing in the high seas.

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WWF urges Pacific tuna fishing nations to act now to stop oceanic whitetip shark from going extinct

Added to Press Releases on 04 December 2019

4 December 2019 – WWF is urging member states attending the 16th meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), taking place on 5 – 11 December in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to adopt critically needed, science-based solutions to prevent the potential extinction of the oceanic whitetip shark and improve the plight of other sharks and rays harvested in the Pacific.

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(c) WWF-Ecuador
(c) WWF-Ecuador

By December 2020, Ecuador will have an updated Shark Conservation Plan

Added to Press Releases on 03 December 2019

Third National Workshop of the Ecuadorian National Shark Action Plan (PAT-Ec), 2019-2023, concluded in the city of Manta, Ecuador, on 20 November. Organised by the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries, with the support of WWF-Ecuador, the workshop gathered representatives of governmental agencies, academia, NGOs, and the fishing sector - all involved in conservation and management of the country's marine biodiversity.


ICCAT’s annual meeting concludes with very mixed results for pelagic sharks in the Atlantic

Added to Updates on 26 November 2019

26th annual meeting of ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) concluded in Spain on 25 November, bringing both good and bad news for sharks. Unsustainable bycatch of the endangered shortfin mako shark will continue as the EU, US, and Curaçao blocked the adoption of a ‘zero-retention policy’ for the species. On the other hand, member states agreed to adopt science-based management measures for blue sharks, including first-ever catch quotas for any pelagic sharks.

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WWF offers shark management recommendations for ICCAT’s annual meeting

Added to Updates on 20 November 2019

As the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meets in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, for their 26th annual meeting on 18 – 25 November 2019, WWF presents its recommendations for better shark and ray management.

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© Shutterstock / ShaunWilkinson / WWF
© Shutterstock / ShaunWilkinson / WWF

Celebrating sawfish on International Sawfish Day

Added to Blogs on 17 October 2019

Australia is home to four of the five species of sawfish and probably holds some of the last secure populations of these species globally. WWF-Australia is working hard to protect endangered sawfish by calling on the Queensland Government to legislate a Net Free North. Read more about sawfish and our work to protect them.

© WWF-Indonesia
© WWF-Indonesia

How CITES Is Starting to Drive Improvements in Shark Management and Trade

Added to Blogs on 19 September 2019

By Andy Cornish

While regulations on trade such as CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) may seem distinct from fisheries management, they are actually a key component of comprehensive management measures, at least for fishes like sharks whose products are frequently exported. Five years on since the first wave of Appendix II listings for commercially important sharks and rays came into effect, some patterns are beginning to emerge.


TRAFFIC releases a new report on major shark and ray catchers and traders

Added to Press Releases on 11 September 2019

TRAFFIC's latest study identifies the world’s top 20 shark and ray catchers and traders over the last decade, giving an overview of global shark and ray fishing and trade in their meat and fins. The world’s top 20 catchers (harvesting almost 600,000 metric tonnes of sharks and rays each year) account for 80% of global reported catch. Top 20 shark meat importers account for 90% of the global imports. For shark fins, 4 largest importers bring in 90% of the global imports.


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