In pictures: swimming with sharks

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Feature Story - 6 August, 2013
It’s #SharkWeek! This collection of photos from our archive supports Discovery Channel’s celebration of these amazing species and the television programme’s aim to raise awareness and respect for sharks.

Whale Shark

© Paul Hilton/Greenpeace Whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay

Looking at Paul Hilton’s stunning photos of whale sharks, the largest species who can live up to a 100 years, one can only feel deeply saddened and shocked by the image of a whale shark being caught as bycatch by a purse seiner fishing for tuna in the Pacific.

Unfortunately, unsustainable fishing practices are not the only threat to sharks. For years sharks have been hunted; their fins being used in shark fin soup, their jaws sold as souvenirs.

As a result, tens of millions of sharks are killed by people every single year.

Join us in protecting these amazing animals by supporting sustainable fishing, the creation of protected areas at sea and banning practices such as shark finning.

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace A silky shark and rainbow runner fish swim next to an illegal fish aggregation device (FAD) in the waters of Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone.

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace A Vietnamese crew member releases a shark back into the ocean which was caught on the end of a bait line of a Korean longliner, the 'Shin Yung 51'. whilst fishing for tuna. 

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace A shark is seen in the Republic of Palau.

John West

© Jesse Marlow / Greenpeace Sharks and a giant tuna can are occupying the roof of John West's headquarters in Cheltenham as part of a Greenpeace campaign to expose the company's destructive fishing practices.

© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace Members of the Mozambican fisheries enforcement inspect  the Japanese longliner, Wakashio Maru No 08, for shark fins. Greenpeace is on a mission in the Indian Ocean to expose overfishing and to highlight the problems associated with excessive tuna fishing. 

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace Freshly unloaded frozen shark fins are sorted at Dong Gang Wholesale fish market, Dong Gang, Kaohsiung. 

© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace Grey reef Sharks in Taihiti. 

© Alex Hofford / Greenpeace A little girl holds a shark jaw for sale in a shop in San Diego. 

© Roger Grace / Greenpeace Hammerhead shark drowned in driftnet, Arafura Sea. 

© Greenpeace A purse seine vessel with a whale shark caught as bycatch in the Pacific. Whale sharks, being slow swimming filter feeding fish, act as natural aggregation devices for tuna in tropical oceans and are killed in unsustainable numbers in purse seine fisheries. 

© Paul Hilton / Greenpeace 
A whale shark in Cenderawasih Bay National Park.