Underwater concept of global problem with plastic rubbish floating in the oceans. Shark in caption of plastic bag

Photo by: Jag_cz


Endangered Sharks of the World

By: Discovery

Our world's oceans are continually challeged by pollution, overfishing, and climate change. This affects sharks just as much as it affects humans--if not more so. Read on to learn about some endangered sharks that need our help.

March 20, 2020

It is not new news that our oceans are polluted. There are thousands of endangered animals in our ecosystem and just because sharks are the king of the sea, doesn’t mean they are exempt from the threats of over-fishing, finning, habitat disruption, and pollution. Did you know that some of the most iconic sharks reside on the endangered list?

Great Hammerhead

The great hammerhead is highly endangered and nearing extinction due to the fin trade and their close-to-shore habits.



Photo by: Ken Kiefer 2

Ken Kiefer 2

Great White Shark

The great white shark may rule supreme, but due to both targeted and accidental fishing, these majestic creatures are vulnerable to extinction.



Great White Shark with the afternoon light in its open jaws. Taken at the Neptune Islands, Spencer Gulf, South Australia.

Photo by: Alastair Pollock Photography

Alastair Pollock Photography

Whale Shark

The whale shark is an interesting case--they also are valuable to the fin trade and in some places, it is common to see a while shark on a menu. Recently though, toursim has actually helped the whale shark, as there are popular excursions where you can swim with them in many tropical locales. This makes them more valuable alive to some.



Whale shark swimming near the surface in Cenderawasih Bay. Whale sharks here are thought to be resident all year round feeding by sucking nutrients from the fishing nets that hang below the fishing platforms(bagans).

Photo by: by wildestanimal

by wildestanimal

Scalloped Hammerhead

Unlike the great hammerhead, the scalloped hammerhead finds its home with a gam (more commonly known as a school or herd). Though this protects them from their very few natural predators, it makes them easier to find and catch, which leads to their spot on the endandgerd species list.



SCALLOPED HAMMERHEAD SHARK, Sphyrna lewini, Sphyrnidae, Red Sea, Egypt

Photo by: Gerard Soury

Gerard Soury

Next Up

What Caused the Death of Great White Found With Sea Turtle Stuck In Mouth?

Shark scientist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag debunks news of Great White dying from choking on a sea turtle.

A 300 Million Year Old Shark Skull Was Discovered Inside Kentucky Cave

Paleontologists have now found and identified the fossilized remains of around 150 individual sharks from between 15 and 20 different species buried in the limestone layers of the cave.

Swimming with Sharks

One research foundation is working to change public perception of sharks by taking people swimming with them – without a cage.

New Pocket Shark Discovery

A new Pocket Shark has been discovered and it's insanely cute! Here's what you need to know...

Shark Flings Itself Out of Water to Avoid Becoming Orca’s Snack

A sevengill shark flings itself out of the water and onto rocks to avoid becoming an orca's meal.

What Happens When a Great White Can’t Breach?

Fun fact on great whites who never get airborne.

Twin Red Panda Cubs Born at Chester Zoo

In June, twin red pandas were born at England’s Chester Zoo as part of its endangered species breeding program, and they are as adorable as ever! After nine weeks in their nest boxes, these cubs passed their health checkup, which is great news in the animal world as there are less than 10,000 in the wild.

A Guide to Sharks at the American Museum of Natural History

Here’s a handy guide to some of the shark species you can spot in the American Museum of Natural History’s special exhibitions.

Lion Queens of India

How Asiatic lionesses save their cubs, by playing the field.
Related To: