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.
How You Can Help
Spread the word! Let your friends and family know that sharks need our help.
Visit: 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
Guess 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.