Sharks are caught in purse-seine, longline, gillnet, and other tuna fisheries, usually as bycatch. Because of their low reproductive rates and other life-history characteristics, many species of sharks are vulnerable to fishing.
These shark species are found in tuna fisheries:
Some vessels intentionally catch sharks to harvest their fins, which are valuable in certain markets. Shark finning threatens shark populations and violates the U.N. FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and IPOA-Sharks.
Our conservation measures 3.1(a), 3.1(b), and 3.1(c) ask ISSF participating companies to take certain steps to help prevent shark finning in the seafood industry.
Fishers can take steps before and after the tuna catch to reduce unintentional catches of silky sharks by up to 62%. We outline shark bycatch-mitigation techniques in scientific reports and skippers guidebooks.
For shark bycatch rates by ocean, see our “Tropical Purse Seine Fisheries Bycatch” infographic series.
To inform Regional Fisheries Management Organization (RFMO) requirements for fleets, ISSF shares science-based shark-conservation best-practices information through position statements and other outreach efforts. We also evaluate RFMO FAD management measures intended to help protect sharks.
View and download photos of sharks from our photo gallery, taken by ISSF scientists and scientist-consultants.
ISSF’s YouTube channel features exclusive videos about our shark research.
Four tuna RFMOs already require the fleets in their regions that fish with FADs to use only non-entangling FAD designs. Some RFMOs additionally encourage fleets to use biodegradable materials in FADs.
ISSF’s Guide to Non-Entangling & Biodegradable FADs is a resource for RFMOs and fishers transitioning to more sustainable FAD designs.