Why hammerhead sharks are our cause of the month



CAUSE OF THE MONTH

Hammerhead shark conservation

ABOUT

Healthy oceans have sharks

There’s no mistaking the distinctive silhouette of a hammerhead shark. Named for the unusual shape of their heads, hammerheads are apex predators usually found in the coastal waters of warmer seas.

Like most sharks, hammerheads are crucial to the ocean’s biodiversity and overall health, especially in the coastal waters where they’re found. They feed on the sick and weak, control prey populations, and help maintain the strength and diversity of other species.

There are at least 9 species of hammerhead living in our oceans today, the largest of which is the great hammerhead shark, which can reach lengths of up to 18 feet and weigh over 1,000 pounds.

THREATS

Overfishing, culling, and entanglement

Hammerheads’ iconic head shape makes them especially vulnerable to accidental entanglement in fishing nets and other marine debris. They’re also routinely hunted for their meat and fins.

Because they’re often misunderstood, hammerheads are also culled through lethal shark control programs. In just six years (2012-2018), nearly 600 of these sharks were lost to culling in Australia, despite the fact that they’ve never been involved in a fatal incident with humans.

Like people, hammerhead sharks live a long time, mature slowly, and have few offspring, which makes them particularly vulnerable to the effects of overfishing and culling.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Two-thirds of hammerhead species are threatened with extinction

The combined threats of overfishing, culling, and entanglement have caused some populations, like Australia’s scalloped hammerheads, to decline by as much as 80 percent. Right now, 6 of 9 hammerhead species are threatened with extinction. The great hammerhead and scalloped hammerhead species are globally endangered, with some populations categorized as critically endangered. Other species are currently categorized as vulnerable or threatened but can easily become endangered if we don’t do more to protect them.

PARTNER OF THE MONTH

One Ocean Diving, Research & Conservation

We’re donating $1 to our friends at One Ocean Diving for every Hammerhead Shark Bracelet sold this month. Our donation will help fund crucial research, education, and protection initiatives that advance shark conservation globally.

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT

Join the Clean Ocean Club to pull 2 pounds and donate $2 every month

SMALL ACTS ADD UP

Discover more ways to support the clean ocean movement