Sharks throughout the world’s oceans are subjected to high catch levels in fisheries, either as targeted or incidental catch.
Globally, scientists have noted that three-fourths of oceanic pelagic sharks and rays have an increased risk of extinction as a result of overfishing. Sharks are caught in conjunction with many ICCAT fisheries, including by some longline fleets which target sharks to harvest their valuable fins.
Unfortunately, most Atlantic pelagic sharks have exceptionally limited biological productivity and can be overfished even at very low levels of fishing mortality. In fact, many of these species are at an elevated risk of over-exploitation, as shown in a 2008 ecological risk assessments carried out in conjunction with the ICCAT shark stock assessment.