The Year of the Shark: December News

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Major Victories for Sharks in 2022!

With your help, Shark Stewards has catalyzed considerable conservation success for sharks in the Congress with the US Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, regulating gear in Pacific fisheries, and passing global trade restrictions this year!

This month, the Congress made the penultimate step towards saving overfished shark populations and endangered sharks from extinction, by passing a bill that will ban the USA’s involvement in the global shark fin trade. 

On Thursday December 15, the Senate approved language making the possession, sale and trade of shark fins illegal, with a few exceptions, and ban the trade of shark fins in the USA. Also included are provisions against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, and for coral reef and marine mammal protection. The shark fin provision (HR 2811) was inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act (HR7776) that passed through the House last week. On another positive note, the Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act is attached to the Omnibus Bill, potentially saving thousands of California seabirds, whales and sharks.

HR7776 will now go to the President for his signature. Please thank the bill sponsors and urge President Biden to sign this bill into law this week.Sign the PetitionOver 90 Species of Sharks and Rays Protected from Trade at CITES

On November 12-24 Shark Stewards worked in Panama lobbying delegates to list sharks under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). By providing scientific justification, we joined up with the Shark Research Institute, the US Fish and Wildlife and other advocates to list the entire Requiem shark family including blue sharks), all hammerhead sharks, and the small guitarfish family under Appendix II, thereby regulating the international trade of shark fins, meat, and body parts.

Early this year we provided scientific comments to  an international ocean fisheries management organization (WCPMC), and in December successfully lobbied to ban wire leaders and shark lines. This gear restriction was adopted for all tuna and pelagic fisheries in the entire West and Central Pacific, helping protect threatened sharks. 

We supported gear restrictions first introduced in Hawai’i this April, with the state banning wire leaders responsible for killing sharks as bycatch in the tuna industry. The law set the stage for NOAA to adopt the same regulation in all US Pacific tuna fisheries in the summer of 2022. 

Collectively, these measures will save millions of Pacific sharks and may just be the reprieve needed to protect critically endangered oceanic whitetip sharks.LEARN MORE
Swimming in the blue, crossing vast ocean spaces, pelagic sharks are usually out of sight. More often seen at the end of a hook or in the fin trade, these large ocean rovers are now fading into the blue, unless we can save them.

Since 2006 Shark Stewards has driven shark fin trade legislation, and with the support of thousands of volunteers and your help, this year’s work justifies that commitment. Controlling the international wildlife trade is a major move, helping save millions of sharks and rays. But reducing overfishing and protecting new habitat is critical for the survival of entire ocean ecosystems and the sharks that swim in them.

I am grateful for the passion of our team and the momentum we have regained working with local communities and hundreds of youth post-pandemic. Learn about our campaigns reaching youth, working to establish new Pacific marine protected areas and protecting critically endangered pelagic sharks species through fisheries regulation in 2023.

Thank you for your support!

David McGuire and the Shark Stewards Team

Shark Stewards Hawai’i Field Education, (David McGuire Right)

December  21 2022 6:30 PDT (4:30 HT)
Join us for our annual live on Zoom end-of-year shark event online. Team updates, games and prizes. Watch on Facebook or follow on Instagram for the link to participate.

January 27, 28 2023– Malama I Ke Kai, Community Beach Cleanup Festival and Surf Contest with Breathe Roots Hawai’i


Check out our shop and give the gift of shark love, including our book Sharks for Kids, shirts, hats and reusable drinkware (click).

We are a team of passionate ocean lovers across the Pacific from California to Hawai’i to China, protecting habitat and saving sharks. Click the volunteer button and join us wherever you live!

With your support, we keep sharks swimming and the ocean healthy.Shark Stewards is 4-star rated by Charity Navigator, Platinum-ranked by GuideStar, a member of 1% for the Planet, and a proud project of the Earth Island Institute, a federally registered 501(c)3 non profit.
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