Northwest Shark Preservation Society
The mission of the Northwest Shark Preservation Society is to use current research techniques to study various shark species and the interactions they have with their environment; to educate and enlist society in the protection of sharks thereby aiding in the protection of aquatic ecosystems; and to pioneer relationships between the scientific community and the general public.
Why Conserve Sharks?
Sharks have inhabited the world’s oceans for over 400 million years. But humanity, with our short sighted environmental policies, have put many species at risk, and driven others to extinction. NOAA has estimated that the North American Coastal Shark Population has decreased 90%.*** It is estimated that 70 – 100 million sharks are killed every year as a result of bycatch and for the vast international demand for shark fins for soup. This popular delicacy requires that sharks be finned. The most common form of fining involves bring the shark aboard ship, cutting the fins off and throwing the still living shark back into the water. The shark, now unable to swim, slowly sinks and drowns because it cannot generate the forward movement that allows it to breath.
A recent report on sharks in the northwest Atlantic reveals that populations of some large species have fallen by 75% to 90% since 1986. Research indicates that some formally high population species are now present at less than 2% of their original numbers. Pacific shark populations have fallen with similar percentages.
As apex predators, sharks maintain a balance within the marine ecosystem and they play a critical role in our oceans. Their disappearance could have devastating effects throughout the marine environment. For example, populations of marine mammals, fish and crustaceans could experience rapid population growth. This would cause a cascading like effect that could damage the entire marine ecosystem. Our goal then is to help stop the slaughter of all shark species and help reverse the effects of over fishing, bycatch loss and recreational fishing pressures throughout the Pacific Northwest.