Shark populations are continuing to decline despite bans on finning

What exactly are the bans doing?

Photo collage of sharks, fishing nets, a bowl of shark fin soup and a shoal of fish in the background.
Around 25 million protected sharks were killed between 2012 and 2019
(Image credit: Illustration by Julia Wytrazek / Getty Images)

Conservation efforts for marine life are growing at a rapid pace — and one of the most consequential has been bans against the finning of sharks. But while numerous countries have enacted legislation to save the ocean's apex predators, new evidence has emerged that it may not be helping. The legislation may even be making the situation worse. 

A Jan. 11 study published in the journal Science examined "[shark] mortality globally and found that, overall, it has continued to increase over the past 10 years." The study found that the banning of finning had "little impact" on the number of shark deaths.

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