After a long-term push from marine conservation groups, the US government has changed the oceanic whitetip shark to be labeled “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Because of the sharks’ pelagic nature, the widespread protection is important to stabilizing the population.
Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation group based out of Washington DC, led the charge to protect oceanic whitetips, which are facing increased threats from commercial fishing. Oceanic whitetip populations have declined up to 90 percent in the Pacific Ocean since the 1990s, according to various studies. Similar research estimates a drop of up to 85 percent in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s.
Oceanic whitetip sharks are much sought after by underwater photographers, and a favorite species by DPG staff. In fact, we have an entire guide to photographing this amazing animal in the wild.
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