Many species of sharks, rays, and skates are vulnerable, threatened, or endangered.

  • Threats include overfishing, accidental catch in fishing nets, and the effects of climate change on their habitat and food supply.
  • A major threat to sharks is human consumption. Sharks are targeted for their fins – notably for shark-fin soup in Asia – and for their meat. Their skin is used for leather, and cartilage and liver oils are used in pharmaceuticals.

What the AZA Community is Doing

  • In the past five years alone, the AZA community has invested over $2.7 million in shark conservation. Most projects involved population studies, research, habitat protection, and tagging.
  • During the same period, the AZA community invested over $600,000 in ray and skate conservation. Rays, skates, and sharks are in the same class of animals, Chondrichthyes, or cartilaginous fishes.  Projects included health assessments, conservation education, and research.
  • AZA SAFE will further these efforts by harnessing the collective power of the 229 AZA member institutions and our 180 million visitors, connecting partners, and creating and executing a conservation action plan to help sharks in the wild.

Read more about shark conservation on >

How You Can Help

share_sharkSpread the word! Let your friends and family know that sharks need our help.

ZAmap1200x900Visit: Your visit to an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium not only supports the well-being of the animals you see, but also supports conservation efforts. Find an institution near you

SAFE_TailsUpGuess who? Download our free TailsUp! app and play with your friends. It’s free to download but offers in-app purchases – and 100% of AZA’s proceeds supports conservation work. Available on the iTunes store and Google Play.