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Progress, Challenges, and Opportunities in Global Shark Conservation

May 2, 2013

Sharks are critical components of healthy marine ecosystems. However, they face rapidly growing pressures, including a vast and largely unregulated shark fin trade. As a result, shark populations worldwide are experiencing substantial declines and are increasingly faced with overexploitation and endangerment. International protections for sharks have lagged behind these population declines, but in a landmark decision on March 14, 2013, the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to extend protection to five of the most threatened species of shark that are harvested for their fins or meat. This decision represents a significant step forward for conserving shark populations threatened by international trade, but questions remain about whether additional regulation is needed in light of demand for shark products.

This panel convened government, nongovernmental, and fishing industry experts to discuss the implications of the March 2013 CITES decision, the current status of domestic and international shark protection efforts, and potential approaches to ensuring a long-term future for sharks.


  • Laura Cimo, Policy Advisor, Office of International Affairs, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries
  • Jeffrey Pike, Chief Executive Officer, Pike Associates
  • Elizabeth Wilson, Manager, Global Shark Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts



  • Jordan Diamond, Deputy Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute






This seminar is generously supported by
the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation and an anonymous donor.

Click here for more information on ELI's Ocean Seminar Series