The International Committee on the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, an organization in Madrid, Spain, concerned with the conservation of tunas and some other large fish species, is currently completing a stock assessment of pelagic sharks that may provide essential data for the management of some species, such as the endangered porbeagle shark. At the same time, organizations such as Shark Alliance and the Ocean Conservancy are pushing for other nations to follow the U.S. lead and adopt "fins attached" regulations. Ultimately, Fordham says, the international catch limits and conservation programs will have to be instituted for threatened and endangered species.
But it may be too little, too late.
"When it comes to shark conservation, the key is really with the public," Fordham says. "Shark conservation programs are not going to advance without public support. Managers are still not used to hearing about concern for sharks, so a few letters can actually make a difference."