The first and one of the primary reasons for shark loss is bycatch. There were 26 different species of shark pulled in as bycatch off of the coast of southern Africa in a 2009 study. Of these species, six of them were listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, and one was listed as endangered. In this study it was estimated that 75,000 sharks are killed in this manner each year. This is very problematic as we are disregarding one of the most important creatures of the marine world. Steps need to be taken to reduce bycatch.
According to a 2013 study it is estimated that up to 100 million sharks are killed or captured per year. A lot of these sharks are being killed purely for their fins, as shark fins are used for such things as making soup. Fins from a great variety of sharks are sold in marketplaces around the world. The market for shark fins is very detrimental to a massive number of species, many of which are endangered. Heavier restrictions must be put into place to prevent this from continually happening so we can ensure that future generations will still be familiar with these creatures.
Although all is not lost, the situation is dire. According to the aforementioned study, there is about a ten year period in which we can take steps to ensure that these apex predators will be around for the next couple hundred years. There are several methods that can be put into effect such as shark tagging that can help discover patterns that will help to prevent all the needless shark casualties.