Tip o’ the hat to @sharksandlasers for linking to this (Twitter is actually useful!). The PEW Environmental Group has released a report on the state of shark fisheries worldwide, and it contains some interesting facts and figures. You can download the entire PDF file here, and I recommend taking a look if you’re interested either from a conservation or fishery point of view.
One of the first things I noticed is that despite Japan’s reputation as the most ravenous fishing fleet in the sea, the U.S. is actually just ahead of it in terms of shark landings.
Granted landings don’t tell us the whole picture, especially since a huge proportion of shark landings go towards Asian markets, but in terms of actual shark fishing effort we are actually ahead of Japan. Fortunately, we also rank as one of the more responsible nations in terms of reporting and managing our landings.
There’s a lot of interesting information in there, and others are covering it better than I, but make sure to download the document and check it out.