Saturday, April 20, 2024

US Government Won’t Add Hammerhead Sharks To Endangered Species List


The US National Marine Fisheries Service has decided not to add the Hammerhead Shark to the Endangered Species List.

NMFS had received a petition last June from the Center for Biological Diversity to list the Hammerhead as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, according to a notice published in the Federal Register this week.

The center had argued that the a 2019 assessment by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature had designated the species as “critically endangered,” meaning that “the species satisfies the listing criteria under the ESA.”

However, NMFS said:

“We thoroughly reviewed the information presented in the petition, in context of information readily available in our files, and found that it does not provide any credible new information regarding great hammerhead sharks or otherwise offer substantial information not already considered in our status review report of the great hammerhead shark (Miller et al. 2014) and 12-month finding (79 FR 33509, June 11, 2014). As such, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted.”

In a statement to, Kristin Carden, a senior scientist with the center, said:

“The Fisheries Service’s decision not to move forward with protecting the great hammerhead shark under the Endangered Species Act is disappointing and misguided. This critically endangered species has suffered a global population decline of more than 80% over the past 70 years. The agency’s failure to protect great hammerhead sharks keeps them on the path toward extinction.”

Read the full NMFS decision here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.