International Conservation
Reef Shark, © Ed Gullekson

Working With Fisheries

Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) are international organizations formed by countries with fishing interests in particular geographic areas. Tuna fisheries – fisheries that primarily target tuna for commercial purposes - pose great risks to endangered species. Sharks, mantas, rays and sea turtles all get caught in nets intended for tuna. Defenders works to encourage commercial fisheries to use conservation-conscious industry practices, and carefully monitor their catches so they can track the impact on other species.

Defenders of Wildlife participates in two RFMOs: the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna. We advocate for the fisheries to use different tools and methods to decrease the number of sharks, mantas and other species that are caught. We also advocate for rules to enforce more accurate reporting of when these species are caught, as way to increase scientific data on their populations.

To cut down on the horrific practice of shark finning, we are also strong advocates of a “fins naturally attached” policy. Under this policy, any shark brought on board must have its fins naturally attached to their body.

More on International Conservation: Protecting Sharks »

You may also be interested in:

Wildlife trafficking, © John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS
In the Magazine
U.S. consumer demand fuels illegal wildlife trade, jeopardizing imperiled species around the globe
Fact Sheet
Renowned for its majesty and nicknamed "the king of the jungle," the lion possesses both beauty and strength. Lions vary in color but typically sport light yellow-brown coats.
Species at Risk
Amphibians are facing many threats to their survival. Chytrid fungus, commercial trade of amphibians, habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, competition from invasive species and climate change are wreaking havoc on their numbers.