There are over 1,000 species of sharks and rays in our oceans. Sonja champions their fight by attending meetings all over the world, convincing policy-makers to show some love to even the smallest skate.
To provide leadership in advancing sound shark conservation policies through collaboration with a variety of organizations and decision makers.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies nearly one-third of the world’s 1044 assessed shark species (including rays and chimaeras) as Near Threatened or Threatened while some local populations are assumed already extinct. Scientists warn of negative consequences for marine ecosystems and biodiversity from depleting these predators. Fishermen and divers, and, in turn, coastal communities, also rely on healthy shark and ray populations.
Shark Advocates International was founded in order to fill the niche of serious, specialized policy work based on long-term, “in the trenches” experience in management forums and close association with shark scientists. Informed policy analysis and expert advocacy are essential elements for capitalizing on today’s heightened awareness of the sharks’ plight and ensuring that the ensuing conservation measures are prioritized, meaningful, and achieved.
The Save Our Seas Foundation is keenly aware that sharks are among the most valuable and vulnerable animals in the ocean. Most sharks serve as important predators, key to maintaining ecosystem balance, and are not well equipped to withstand heavy fishing pressure. In fact, most sharks are exceptionally susceptible to overfishing due to slow growth, late maturity and small numbers of young. This inherent vulnerability should put sharks at the front of the line for conservation action and yet too often the opposite is true. Low economic value relative to more traditional food-fish, along with negative images as “man-eaters” leave sharks near the bottom of managers’ priority lists. Lack of limits on shark fishing and trade in the face of strong demand for shark products is resulting in serious declines in shark populations around the world.
SAI works collaboratively to advance sound national, regional, and international policies for sharks and rays. We seek science-based limits on shark fishing and trade, protection for endangered species and stronger bans on finning.
Within the next year, we aim to have ensured