Frequently Asked Questions

Shark Conservation

  Why are shark populations declining?

The populations of many species of shark are suffering a documented decline. Overfishing and excessive bycatch, shark finning and habitat destruction are all seriously impacting on global shark populations.

  What is shark finning?

Finning is the process of cutting off the fins of a shark and discarding the body at sea. Often, the shark will be thrown back into the sea alive - as it is unable to swim the shark suffocates or is eaten alive by other fish. This practice contradicts all principles of sustainable shark fisheries management and conservation. Find out more by visiting our Stop Shark Finning campaign.

  I’ve seen shark meat, curios or other shark derivatives for sale. What can I do?

Unfortunately there are very few shark products that are illegal to sell. In the UK trade in shark parts, that comes from any shark except Basking in British waters. International trade in shark species listed on CITES Appendix I and Appendix II is restricted - see for more information.

In places that are selling shark related products and if you feel comfortable doing so, politely let the staff, preferably the manager, know why you will not be purchasing the product. Keep your contact with them polite and specific, no matter how upset and frustrated you may be feeling. Although the Shark Trust encourages full utilisation of shark carcasses where caught, the Trust does not support trade in shark products derived from unsustainable fisheries. Visit our campaigns and shark products section for more information.

➤  What conservation projects can I join to work with sharks?

There are a number of organisations nationally and internationally that are involved in shark conservation work. Our links section offers a number of possibilities and many others can be found through an internet search. You can also contact your local aquarium, dive club, university or research facility to see what projects they are involved in and whether you can get involved.

The Shark Trust has a number of office positions for volunteers based in/near to Plymouth. To find out more about current volunteering opportunities please visit our volunteer page.

  How do I get a job in shark conservation?

To become a marine biologist, we suggest that you first study the separate sciences at GCSE, which will enable you to go on to study two sciences at A level (biology/chemistry/physics/maths/geography). From here, you can then study your specific field of interest at university, such as BSc Marine Biology/Biology/Environmental Science. We would also advise that you get as much volunteering experience as possible and join local environmental conservation groups. It is also really useful to be able to dive, so we recommend attaining an open water diver qualification with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) or British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). For more information about working within shark conservation, please visit our careers page.

About the Shark Trust

➤  Does the Shark Trust give talks?

The Shark Trust receives many requests to attend talks, outreach and educational events. While we attempt to honour all invitations, each event is assessed on a case by case basis. If you would like us to attend an event or give a talk then please contact us and we will respond accordingly.

  Working for the Shark Trust

The Shark Trust is a small charity governed by a board of trustees. We are the only UK shark conservation charity and are based in Plymouth. All vacancies are advertised on our vacancies page.

  Volunteering for the Shark Trust, work placements & internships

Unfortunately the Shark Trust is not in a position to offer work placements or internships, as we are a small charity. The Trust is primarily office based, attending a few outreach events throughout the year. There is a range of voluntary activities that individuals can get involved with, which are listed on our volunteer page.

➤  How can I help the Shark Trust & shark conservation

There are lots of ways you can get involved with the Shark Trust and help to save sharks. See our get involved section for more information.

➤  Where can I buy Shark Trust merchandise?

The Shark Trust has a wide range of shark-related merchandise, click here to visit our online shop.

  I want to adopt a shark, what do I get and where does my money go?

We offer a range of shark adoptions - Basking Shark, No Limits? Sharks, Whale Shark, White Shark or if you simply can't choose why not adopt all of them! Your money helps support various research projects and campaigns - please visit the adopt a shark section to find out more.

  How does joining the Shark Trust help protect sharks? Where does my membership money go?

Your money is used to help support our campaigns and enables us to continue our work towards ensuring the protection and future of the world’s chondricthyan fishes. The Trust is delighted to be able to say that approximately 10% of our income is used for administration and governance of the charity. This is amazing and means your money goes where it is intended, shark conservation.

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  I’d like to use an image I’ve seen on your website

The majority of images featured on our website have kindly been donated for Shark Trust use only. As we do not own the copyright we are unable to give permission for third parties to use these images or provide high resolution files. Written permission will need to be obtained directly from the photographer. If images are desired for commercial use, a fee will usually be required. 

Fundraising & Commercial Sponsorship

I’d like to organise a fundraising event to raise money for the Shark Trust.

The Shark Trust greatly values supporters giving their time to raise money for shark conservation. For ideas about the sorts of events and activities you could do, visit our fundraising page. Please be aware that any fundraising event you organise is an independent event, to raise money for the Trust, and cannot be classified as a Shark Trust event. This must be made clear in any promotional material for the event, as the Trust cannot be held responsible for any personal or public injury, or loss as a result of this event. We would also appreciate all sponsorship monies raised on behalf of the Trust to be submitted within three months of the completion of the fundraising event.

Can I run the London Marathon for the Shark Trust?

We are always very grateful when people take part in marathons to raise funds for the Trust. However, we are unable to supply entrants with Golden Bond tickets. These charitable entries are extremely restricted and generally given to very large charities, who can keep them for as long as they wish. There is currently a list of 600+ charities waiting to receive golden bonds. So whilst we are delighted that people wish to run for charity, all runners are expected to go through the usual ballot entry method.

What is Give As You Earn?

'Give As You Earn’ is a payroll giving scheme that enables employees to donate tax free through their pay to any charity in the UK. Ask your employer if they subscribe to ‘Give As You Earn’ and donate to the Shark Trust today!

How can I help shark conservation by shopping online?

You can also help to raise funds for the Shark Trust as you shop online with 2000 of the UK’s best known retailers, including; Amazon, Next, Argos, John Lewis and HMV, when you shop through The Shark Trust will benefit from between 2% and 15% of every purchase you make.

How do I become a commercial supporter of the Trust?

The Shark Trust is grateful to a number of companies who have pledged to donate a portion of their sales revenue. These companies can be viewed on our commercial sponsors page. We welcome commercial supporters but must stress that we are unable to endorse any of the companies who support our cause, or allow the use of the Shark Trust logo in any external promotion. We are able to provide companies with a reciprocal link on our website and an ‘In Aid of the Shark Trust’ logo, which can be used freely. However, we must stress that companies cannot use the Shark Trust logo or any images from the Shark Trust website due to copyright and legal issues.

Can I display a Shark Trust Charity Box in my shop?

Yes you can. All you have to do is contact us to ask for one. We will then send you a box and seals with a permission form to collect. However, boxes cannot be sent to an individual to collect on the street, as this requires a licence from the operating council for the charity to undertake this collection. If the land is privately owned then permission will need to be sought from the landowner first and this would need to be sent to us in writing.