Protected Areas

Here you can find a lot of information on protected areas for sharks from South Africa to Hawaii as well as regional regulations for shark finning. Many coastal states have worldwide woken up to the fact that a living shark is worth far more than a killed one.

Protected areas – Shark protection laws – Cape Town Shark Tours

Protected areas Great White Sharks

The following countries have established protected areas advocating endangered shark species:
- South Africa 
- Egypt
- Paradise island Hawaii 
- South Pacific island country Palaus
- Fiji Islands        
- French Polynesia
- Maldives
- Honduras         
- Bahamas
- Congo-Brazzaville
- Israel
- Indonesia - Raja Ampat
The world’s marine reserves and marine sanctuaries:
- Cocos Marine Reserve
- Gansbaai Dyer Island Nature Reserve
- Galapagos Marine Reserve
- Chile, Sala y Gómez
- Great Barrier Reef – North-eastern coast of Australia
- Samoa – Island state in Polynesia
These shark protection laws’ biggest enemy is the fishing industry by which Great White sharks are often killed as by-catch. Laws have thus been tightened up to the extent of inflicting high fines as well as prison sentences in the case of violation. 

European laws regulate that in the case of a by-catch, the shark’s entire body must be kept on board of the fishing vessel, thus avoiding hundreds of sharks only being killed for their fin.
In Asia, sad to say, sharks are getting caught and finned alive while the rest of the body gets thrown back into the water where the shark suffocates or bleads to death barbarously at the bottom of the ocean. The black market is booming as many Asian nations demand the fins for their traditional shark fin soup.

shark fin soup

These laws and regulations for protected areas should as a whole obtain a response, but China’s economic boom continuously caters for a rising demand.

It is not uncommon that raids at seaports confiscate more than 200.000 shark fins from a single cargo. Based on this amount you can clearly see that the grey area of illegally killed sharks runs into the millions.
Many fishing fleets do not comply with the international stipulations and catch whatever brings in the highest turnover. Controls are scarce due to the lack of funding.

We would like to mention those airlines that have stopped the transportation of shark fins. Sadly however, more than 1000 tons of shark fin still reach their destination as air cargo.
- Cathay Pacific
- Korean Air
- Asiana

It is highly commendable that some airlines have stopped the transportation of shark fins, only 10% of all shark fins, however, are distributed by air cargo. The other 90% reach Asia by ship.

Ban on imports
The Swiss National Council has banned all international shark fin imports and we would love the list of countries doing the same to increase immensely!

There are numerous regional regulations on shark finning, far too many to mention within the bounds of this page. There are furthermore many guidelines and recommendations, all of which prove futile, as there is really no way of monitoring them.

Many poor political decisions have jeopardised years and years of valuable work of various environmental organisations.

The Great White Shark is the most protected shark species worldwide, and yet its numbers have dangerously decreased, especially in South Africa, the breeding ground of the Great White. South Africa’s protected area of Gansbaai is approximately 2 hours drive from Cape Town.

shark cage diving tour

Should you be planning on spending your next vacation in South Africa, we would like to introduce you to the world of the Great White shark with a shark cage diving tour in one of the worlds few protected areas. We offer daily shark trips from Cape Town - please note that tours depend heavily on the weather conditions. 
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Your Cape Town Shark Tours Team


Contact for Protected Areas