Shark ConservationWhale Shark Diving © Andre Seale, Marine Photobank.

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation Logo.The Shark Trust is currently the only UK registered charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks.

When the Shark Trust started its activity in 1997 there was little to no management for sharks, skates and rays and an almost equal lack of public appreciation for sharks and their importance within the wider marine ecosystem.

As apex predators, sharks (just like wolves and lions on land) fulfil a key role in maintaining the balance of the ocean by keeping other populations in check. However their life history strategy of slow growth, late maturity and few offspring makes them extremely vulnerable to exploitation. Human impacts are threatening our oceans and many shark species are suffering a documented decline. Overfishing and excessive bycatch, shark finning and habitat destruction are all seriously impacting on global shark populations. There are now 110 species of chondrichthyan fish listed in a threat category on the IUCN's Red List, with a further 95 species listed as Near Threatened.

Since 1997 the charity has made a significant contribution to shark conservation through science, education, influence and action. While not all of our achievements have seized media headlines they have been essential to the delivery of practical and effective shark conservation. To find out more about our achievements over the past 15 years visit our achievements page.

In this section you will find information about how the Shark Trust contributes to the delivery of improved legislation that protects sharks in the UK, Europe and internationally, information about shark ecotourism – including tips to help you choose a responsible tour operator or dive company – and a shark products section to help keep consumers in the know about products that encourage unsustainable shark fisheries.

As a conservation charity the Shark Trust relies on grants and donations to deliver our remit and so we would like to recognise the generous support of many foundations, organisations and individuals who enable us to make a positive impact on shark conservation.

Shark Trust Sponsors