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. Despite global progress on a number of fronts, many shark species still require urgent management or protection, while existing management is often in need of strengthening or effective enforcement. Find out about the 10-year plan - The Global Shark and Ray Initiative (GSRI).

  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. 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 or other shark products for sale. What can I do?

Seeing a shark for sale can often be a very emotive experience, but bear in mind that it's not always illegal to display and sell shark products. TACs and quotas are in place for some species to limit catch levels while others have no management whatsoever and can be caught in unlimited numbers – although it's still legal to sell many of these species, it's not sustainable to catch and sell unmanaged species – this forms the basis of the No Limits? campaign.

In the UK, Basking Sharks, Angelsharks, White Skate, the Common Skate complex and Porbeagle are all Prohibited Species under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), however there are some exceptions. International trade of products from species that are listed on CITES Appendix I is forbidden and Appendix II is restricted.

If you see a shark product for sale and feel comfortable doing so, then politely speak with the staff and find out if they have information regarding the provenance – if it’s meat for sale they should know the species and sea area it was caught from, if it’s a curios item then where was it sourced. By choosing not to buy the product and explaining why, you reinforce the message to retailers that there is no market for vulnerable species.

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

We’re always on the lookout for help with our citizen science projects, where you can help us collect vital data on shark nursery grounds and shark sightings - visit our Get Involved page to find out more.

  How do I get a job in shark conservation?

For more information about a career in shark conservation, please visit our Careers page.


➤  Does the Shark Trust give talks?

We love meeting fellow shark enthusiasts and try to attend as many talks, outreach and educational events as possible. If you’d like us to attend an event or give a talk then please contact us. We’re a small team based in Plymouth, UK, so unfortunately we can’t make every event but we’ll always try our best!

  Working for the Shark Trust

Much of our work is related to policy and advocacy, rather than field research, and is conducted from our office in Plymouth, UK. For our latest vacancies please visit our Careers page.

The charity is governed by a board of trustees. If you’re interested in becoming a Shark Trust trustee please send us a covering letter and CV.

  Volunteering for the Shark Trust, work experience & internships

Find out more about volunteering with the Trust by visiting our Volunteer page.

Unfortunately we’re unable to offer short-term work experience/internships, however from time to time we do have a number of limited long-term in-house volunteering positions available. If you’re passionate about shark conservation, aged 18+, based locally to Plymouth and can spare at least one day a week for a minimum of three months then we'd love to hear from you.

➤  How can I help the Shark Trust & shark conservation

There are lots of ways you can get involved with us and help shark conservation - see our get involved section for more information.

➤  Where can I buy Shark Trust merchandise?

A range of shark-related merchandise can be found in our online shop. As well as helping to spread awareness about sharks, our products also generate funds that support our work!

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

Our shark adoptions include - Basking Shark, No Limits? Sharks, Whale Shark and White Shark. They make wonderful gifts for shark fans of all ages, with the added bonus that a percentage of your money supports a research project/campaign that directly benefits the species of shark you've adopted - 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?

Every member gives us a louder voice and so adds to our ability to influence positive change and safeguard the future of sharks. Your contributions also help us deliver effective campaigns and projects that further the worldwide conservation of sharks, skates and rays.

➤  Donate
➤  Join Us

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

Most of the images featured on our website have kindly been donated to us by various photographers for promoting our work. We don't own the copyright and so aren't able to give permission for images to be used by third parties or provide high resolution files. Permission will need to be obtained directly from the photographer/illustrator. Illustrations featured on our website have been created by Marc Dando, who can be contacted at If images are desired for commercial use, a fee will usually be required.


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

Thank you for choosing to raise funds for us – we really appreciate your support. We know that planning a fundraising event can be a daunting task and so we’ve created a number of downloadable resources that we hope you’ll find helpful, all of which are available from our Fundraise page. We particularly recommend our Fundraiser’s Guide, which is packed with ideas, tips and legal advice. Once you've organised your event please get in touch to let us know your plans.

Can I run the London Marathon for the Shark Trust?

We’re always very grateful when people run marathons for us but unfortunately we’re unable to supply entrants with Golden Bond tickets. Charitable entries are extremely restricted and there’s currently a long list of charities waiting to receive golden bonds. If you’d like to run for the Shark Trust then please 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?

We're grateful to a number of companies who have pledged to donate a portion of their sales revenue to us. We welcome commercial supporters but must stress that we're unable to endorse any of the companies who support our cause. We are able to provide companies with a link on our website and an ‘In Aid' Shark Trust logo, which can be used freely. Find out more by visiting our Commercial Supporters page.

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

Certainly - please contact us and we'll send you a box and seals with a permission form to collect. Please note that boxes can't be sent to individuals to collect on the street, as this requires a licence from the operating council for the charity. If the land is privately owned then we'd need to receive written permission from the landowner before issuing a box.