Why do sharks need our protection? Many shark species are endangered and could soon become extinct without our help. According to the United Nationís Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year. Due to their slow growth, late sexual maturity and low number of offspring, they are susceptible to almost any fishing pressure.
Few countries have shark management plans in place. And, the demand for shark products like shark meat, fins and cartilage further contributes to their decline.
Why should you help? Sharks play a vital role in the underwater ecosystem as part of natureís complex system of checks and balances. Known as apex predators, they are at the top of the food chain, keeping other aquatic species populations healthy and balanced.
Project AWARE disseminates educational materials to public audiences of all ages to help create a worldwide awareness of shark issues. Protect the Sharks public service announcements (PSAs) continue to be broadcast on television and cable networks.
Project AWARE also supports state, federal and international legislative efforts to protect vulnerable shark species. Success stories so far include the US Shark Conservation Act of 2000, the Hawaii Shark Finning Prohibition Act, the shark finning ban in Australia and much more.