The oceanic whitetip shark’s population has dropped by up to 95%

Overfishing is devastating the whitetip shark. We can’t let this magnificent ocean predator vanish for good.


The majestic oceanic whitetip shark is on the brink of extinction. 

These stocky bronze-and-white sharks make their home in open waters across the globe — but even the vastness of the world’s oceans isn’t enough space to keep them safe from fishermen.

Because whitetip sharks like to swim near the surface, they’re accidentally caught by ocean fishermen in devastating numbers. In some places, their population has fallen by up to 95%.

Right now, we have a chance to win full Endangered Species Act protections for whitetip sharks — but comments will only be accepted on the proposal until July 15.

Overfishing is devastating the oceanic whitetip shark.

You might think there are plenty of fish in the sea, but overfishing actually poses a huge threat to ocean wildlife populations.

Whitetip sharks aren’t usually the preferred target of commercial fishermen, but fishing tools don’t discriminate as well as they should. Baited “longlines” covered in hooks drift deep into the water where any passing animal can get caught. Vast “gillnets” are designed so that fish that swim into them can’t get out.

The newly proposed whitetip shark protections would prohibit fishermen from keeping these sharks as “bycatch” when they fall into their nets by accident. It would also become illegal to sell or trade whitetip sharks either in the US or internationally.

Take action to protect the oceanic whitetip shark.

The fewer whitetip sharks remain, the less likely it is that the species will be able to recover. 

Whitetip sharks are long-lived and slow-growing. It takes a female whitetip shark up to 9 years to reach maturity. Once she’s grown, she’ll only reproduce every other year.

That means every adult female whitetip shark is vital to the future of the species. We can’t afford to lose any more of these magnificent ocean predators as bycatch — especially not when there are more sustainable ways to fish.

Sharks are a vital part of ocean ecosystems. Let’s make sure they’re safe to thrive.