Impact

WE MAKE SCIENCE MATTER.

This has been our north star since 1991—to bring a fact-based position to the table in our work to advocate for shark conservation and protection. From this foundation we work relentlessly to make an impact in four important ways:

Research & Science

Field work

Our scientists work in the field resulting in peer-reviewed scientific publications to inform legislation, conservation and education.

Whale shark migration studies

Since 1993 we have placed ID and satellite tags on animals along the coasts of East Africa, Galapagos, Honduras and Seychelles.

Whale shark DNA studies

Biopsy samples are retrieved from free-swimming sharks. Using PCR, DNA sequencing and other methods coupled with field data, we determine the range of shark breeding pools and genetic diversity.

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Legislation

CITES

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and since 2002 our scientists have attended this critical international treaty of 183 member nations to fight for protective, enforceable shark legislation.

We have provided peer-reviewed scientific data that has resulted in international protections for multiple shark species; including, whale, basking, white, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, scalloped, great and smooth hammerheads, silky and thresher sharks, in addition to sawfishes, manta and devil rays.

We will be present at the upcoming CoP 18 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ban The Shark Fin Trade

Our goal is to end the import of shark fins in the U.S.

We met with legislators in Washington D.C. in support of the Shark Fining Prohibition Act of 2000, and are actively advocating for the currently proposed Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2019.

In collaboration with other conservation groups we secured the closure of the fin trade in 12 U.S. states.

People around the world have signed our Ban The Shark Fin Trade sheets which we give directly to legislators.

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Education

Shark Ecotourism

We work to prove the on-going economic value of a living shark (vs. the one-time revenue from a dead shark) for the development of shark-based tourism to change attitudes, secure protections and create financial stability for former shark fishermen and shark fishing countries. For example, when SRI presented data quantifying the economic value of whale shark tourism to Honduras, the country’s government immediately legislated protection for whale sharks, and other countries have followed suit.

Global Shark Attack File

Created in the 1930’s, we’ve managed this critical resource since 1992. Through a network of investigators in the U.S., Australia and South Africa, we examine incidences and provide accurate, fact-based information to dispel the myths of shark encounters.

This database of over 6,400 incidences is used by medical professionals, shark scientists and the public.

School outreach

We send speakers to universities, schools, clubs, and even scout troops.

Subject matter experts

We send speakers to conservation trade industry events, and are available to the media and have edited books and articles.

Newsletter and Blog

We’ve published a quarterly newsletter for 28 years and maintain three blogs, each addressing an important aspect of shark conservation. We also use these to send out conservation alerts as needed.

online Auctions

We host an annual Celebrity Auction through which winning bidders meet for lunch or dinner with a shark expert or celebrity to learn more about sharks and the need for conservation. We also run auctions featuring dive boats and resorts working to protect sharks, smaller auctions highlighting less expensive boats and resorts, and another auctioning art, books and dive equipment.

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Conservation

Ban The Shark Fin Trade

Petitions can be downloaded from our website and sent to us so we can hand-deliver to legislators.

Adopt a Whale Shark

We believe people better align with an individual, a single animal rather than an entire species. Our longstanding adoption program enables people to connect to a single whale shark. Updates on tagged sharks are sent to their “guardians” and many who have done lifetime adoptions have received updates for more than a decade. Planned expansion is to include white and tiger shark adoptions.

Open expeditions

Three-to-five of our research expeditions each year are open to sport divers to assist scientists in data collection, and become even more passionate conservationists.

Say No To Shark Fin Soup

A campaign in collaboration with Ocean Geographic and the Hong Kong Shark Foundation to secure pledges from children never to eat shark fin soup. Current effort provides door stickers to restaurants removing the soup from their menus.

Ocean Legacy Award

Our premier conservation award given to a country leader who creates a Marine Protected Area for sharks or establishes legal protections in their territorial waters.

Annual Spring Kids Arts Contest

Benefit concerts and art exhibitions

Beach clean ups

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You can learn more about specific accomplishments we’ve made for sharks at these links: