Legislation is currently being introduced in California to ban the possession, sale, and trade of shark fins.
Sharks are also protected under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
IUCN Red List: Over 200 species of shark are listed on the Red List, with statuses ranging from critically endangered to near threatened. Many shark species are listed as data deficient, meaning more research is needed to discover their current population.
CITES:The great white shark, whale shark, and basking shark are listed under Appendix II.
At the March 2010 CITES meeting, shark species threatened by overfishing - particularly for their fins - including hammerhead sharks, whitetip sharks, porbeagle sharks, and spiny dogfish sharks – were proposed for trade restrictions by the U.S. and several other nations. Unfortunately, Japan and China successfully lobbied against restricting trade in sharks. Japanese boats often catch sharks just for their valuable fins, which are used in China and some other Asian countries to make shark fin soup.