|Shark Conservation Fund ↗
Once a global leader in shark conservation, the United States has stepped back in recent years, in some cases actively blocking the adoption of much-needed listings at CITES or conservation measures at tuna regional fisheries management organizations. Domestically, of the 34 stocks of sharks managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service, two thirds are at unsustainably low levels or experiencing overfishing. To address the dangerous decline of sharks and rays and to improve ocean health, the Shark Conservation Fund (SCF) is spearheading a national Campaign to Restore America’s Sharks and Rays which aims to advance critical policy and regulatory reforms for shark and ray conservation in the US. SCF has formed a coalition of leading conservation nongovernmental organizations to execute this effort. The coalition includes organizations with a high level of expertise in conservation, policy advocacy, and fisheries management. Together, this coalition will work to promote a three-pronged set of recommendations to Congress and the Biden Administration focused on restoring US international leadership, leveraging policy tools and litigation to improve US shark and ray conservation, and legislative changes to create stronger fisheries management. Reasserting US leadership in shark and ray conservation around the globe is critical to stemming the decline of these keystone species. Renewed US leadership will signal to the world that shark and ray conservation is a top priority, which will influence other countries and regions to strengthen their fisheries management policies and increase conservation coordination across the globe.