This year Turtle Island Restoration Network is ramping up efforts to advocate for silky sharks on the international stage.  In some cases, our presence pushes a conservation agenda forward in a room otherwise filled with fisheries managers. This was the case at the recent Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission Annual Meeting held in La Jolla, California.

The Annual Meeting is where important decisions on the management and conservation of fisheries for tunas and other species, like silky sharks, take place. Turtle Island is fighting to ensure that silky sharks, a species named for their soft skin and known for schooling behavior, are protected internationally.

Costa Rican fisheries target these gentle sharks for their fins, which are then shipped overseas for shark fin soup, and used in Costa Rica  in cheap ceviche and “casado”  recipes. Costa Rica (a nation that exports silky shark fins) and Taiwan (a nation that consumes shark fins) worked together at the meeting to block, hinder, and shutdown reasonable efforts to protect silky sharks.

Turtle Island successfully shut down the worst measures such as one that aimed to let slightly smaller vessels be exempt from regulations. If this had passed, 90 percent of Costa Rica’s fleet would have been able to fish for silky sharks un-monitored.

You can take action to protect sharks! In September, Turtle Island will be at another important international meeting (the CITES meeting in South Africa) where silky shark protections will again be on the table. But we will also be facing another room full of pro-fishing, anti-shark interests. For this reason, we need you to take action today! Please sign and share our petition by clicking here.