Take Action to Protect Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks
The scalloped hammerhead is a beautiful and mysterious schooling shark that congregates by the thousands over underwater seamounts. This species is extremely vulnerable to targeted fishing by industrial longlines fishing for the shark fin trade. Because of this, its populations are experiencing drastic declines.
Adding this species to the Endangered Species Act will trigger new policies to protect these sharks and their habitat. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) as endangered and warns of a very high risk of extinction for this species in the wild. Like all sharks, scalloped hammerheads play an important role in the health and balance of marine ecosystems. Threatened coral reef ecosystems seriously suffer from the removal of this top predator.
The photo on the right was taken in Cocos Island National Park, where the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and allies conduct research to better understand the habitat use and conservation needs of sharks and sea turtles. Even in this protected area, scalloped hammerhead sharks are illegally caught for their lucrative fins.
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