IUCN - The World Conservation Union is an umbrella organization of the world's conservation agencies and institutions.
It includes both governmental and non-governmental members.
The IUCN actively supports the conservation of biological diversity, the preservation of life-support systems,
and the sustainable use of living resources. The IUCN has six Commissions, including the Species Survival Commission
(SSC), the largest and most active unit.
Within the SSC are a series of specialist groups composed of conservation experts which promote action to arrest the loss
of the world's biological diversity and to restore threat-ened species to safe and productive population levels.
The Shark Specialist Group (SSG) and its regional shark specialist groups are composed of elasmobranch specialists
willing to donate their time in identifying the problems associated with the maintenance of elasmobranch stocks in their
One of the SSG's first goals upon formation was to consolidate regional status reports into a global Action
Plan for the conservation of sharks. The Action Plan will highlight global and regional problem areas and is
anticipated to be a useful tool in developing funding to support needed elasmobranch research programs. Similar
Action Plans generated by other SSC Specialist Groups have proven to be valuable documents that have guided the
direction of conservation and aided in the procurement of research funding. The SSG's Action Plan is now being developed
with release expected within a year.