What is their habitat?
Sharks are found in all seas and are common down to depths of 2,000 metres. They generally do not live in freshwater, with a few exceptions such as the bull shark and the river shark which can live both in seawater and freshwater.
What about the shark population?
In recent years, many shark populations have declined dramatically. Sharks have been under increased fishing pressure, both from recreational and commercial fishermen. Loss of important shark nursery areas in coastal waters due to pollution and development have further aggravated the situation.
Why are sharks endangered?
Shark fins are prized culinary ingredients in Asian foods, such as shark fin soup. To supply these markets, fishermen employ the practice of "live-finning" cutting off the fins of live sharks and throwing them back into the water. This wasteful practice in combination with the shark's naturally low reproduction rate (the gestation period may be up to two years) has put a severe strain on many shark species.