The environmental group, WWF, says it regrets the failure of a European Union move to place limits on shark finning at last week's meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.
Amid pressure from Asian fishing nations, the Tuna Commission rejected the EU's push for a 'fins naturally attached' policy.
Under this scheme the WWF said fishing operators would no longer be able to cut the fins from sharks and toss the carcasses back into the ocean.
A WWF fisheries expert, Bubba Cook, said it would have allowed for accountability.
"You want to have the whole carcass on board. It does limit how much they can catch because whatever hold space they are putting shark carcasses into is hold space that they might have been able to use for a higher value tuna or other species," he said.
"So it has multiple functions, but the real goal is to be able to know how much mortality we are seeing of these sharks."