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The Top 5 Shark Conservation Groups

There are many different ways you can help save the ocean’s apex predators. Here’s our list of five top shark conservation groups

In honor of Shark Week, we’ve compiled a list of five top shark conservation groups. Financially accountable and transparent, these charities direct the large majority of their monies straight into programs instead of into marketing fluff or the salaries of their executive board. We’ve also highlighted all of the ways you can help these groups, from signing a quick petition to donating as little as a $1.

Spread the word by sharing this article (or your favorite group below) on social media and let’s help save sharks.

Shark Stewards 

Since 2006, Shark Stewards has been supporting sharks around the globe. They restore ocean health by saving sharks from overfishing and the fin trade while working to preserve critical marine habitat via creation of marine-protected areas and shark sanctuaries.

By performing needed research, they compile valuable data to aid in better decision-making while advocating for pro-shark legislation and policies. In addition, they educate the public on sharks and marine ecosystems.

How to help:

CharityWatch rated them with an A- grade.


Yao Ming – Shark Fin Soup from WildAid on Vimeo

Begun in 2000, WildAid works to reduce the global consumption of wildlife products and to increase local support for conservation efforts. You may already know them from their anti-shark-finning videos. The one included here features professional basketball player Yao Ming urging people to stop buying shark-fin soup.

WildAid has been conducting a successful program to reduce fin consumption in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Thailand, and to secure further restrictions to the global fin trade. They have also convinced many airlines, shipping companies, restaurants, and hotel chains to stop transporting fins and offering shark-fin soup. They also defend marine reserves against illegal fishing and shark finning.

How to help:

Charity Navigator rated them 4 stars.

Wildlife Conservation Society

Originally established in 1895 by such esteemed founders as Theodore Roosevelt, the organization rebranded itself as the Wildlife Conservation Society in 1993. Its goal is to “conserve the world’s largest wild places in 16 priority regions, home to more than 50% of the planet’s biodiversity.”

The Wildlife Conservation Society supports global shark-conservation efforts and inspires the public. They are also reducing global demand for shark products while supporting government-wide efforts to protect sharks around the world.

How to help:

CharityWatch rated them with an A grade. 

Coral Reef Alliance

Coral Reef Alliance was founded in 1994 to inspire the dive community to focus on conservation. It’s since grown into a world-renowned organization that restores and protects coral reefs in partnership with the communities living nearest the reefs. This, in turn, safeguards the sharks swimming in those local waters.

The Coral Reef Alliance identifies key ecosystems where it can reduce local-level threats, thus building large networks of healthy reefs to defend against global climate change.

How to help:

Charity Navigator rated them 4 stars.

Conservation International

Since 1987, Conservation International has been employing “cutting-edge science, innovative pol​​icy, and global reach to empower people to protect nature.”

You may know them from their famous video of Harrison Ford speaking as the ocean to give nature a voice. Conservation International has created 573 million acres (232 million hectares) of marine-protected areas which, in turn, aids the sharks patrolling those waters. The group also supplies evidence-based tools such as the Ocean Health Index to provide decision-makers around the world with the data needed for better ocean-management policies and practices.

How to help:

CharityWatch rated them with an A grade.

Two bonus groups

We also believe in the unique online products fashioned by two other groups aimed to save our toothy friends. Though we cannot readily verify the financials of these groups, you may be interested in supporting them because of their tangible aid to sharks.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species functions as the world’s most extensively used system for gauging the extinction risk for specific plants and animals. It thereby promotes conservation of critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable species.

The International Shark Attack File is a scientifically documented, comprehensive database of shark attacks, which also dispels shark attack myths while providing educational materials on sharks including how to reduce your risk of an attack.