The 2013 CITES Conference was a historic one. Thanks in great part to our advocacy efforts, Defenders had a hand in gaining new regulations to protect shark species against unregulated international trade.
December, 2013 - As part of an international effort to cut down on the devastating impact of the fin trade on shark species, Defenders helped organize a shark identification workshop in Brazil that was attended by officials from all over the continent.
In 2011, Defenders of Wildlife and 12 other conservation organizations worked with California lawmakers to pass AB376, which officially banned the possession, trade, importing and distribution of shark fins in the Golden State. This eliminates one of the largest ports in America as an import destination of shark fins and helped close a loophole to California’s already existing finning ban.
In 2007, after five years of hard work by Defenders of Wildlife, Mexico officially banned shark finning in the country. This was a huge victory not only for sharks but also for animals like sea turtles and sea lions as the legislation also provided protection for their habitat and more conservation-focused fishing practices.
In 2004, Defenders of Wildlife and the Species Survival Network lobbied successfully for CITES protections for the endangered white shark. Two years earlier, Defenders helped the whale shark and the basking shark receive protections as well.
Size: The spined pygmy shark, a deep-sea shark, is one of the smallest at only about 7-8 inches, while the whale shark is the largest shark, and fish, at about 50 feet in length.
Lifespan: Although lifespan varies by shark species, most sharks are long-lived and generally tend to live for 20-30 years. Species like the spiny dogfish and the whale shark are believed to live for over 100 years!