The Government has signed an international agreement to protect migratory sharks.
The Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks aims to improve the conservation of seven migratory shark species vulnerable to over-exploitation.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said migratory sharks were under increasing threat from fishing, as they grow slowly and produce few offspring.
Mr Guy said some of the seven shark species had been severely depleted by over-fishing and signing the agreement would give New Zealand a voice in the global conservation of sharks.
Shark species under threat
- Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
- Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)
- Longfin Mako Shark (Isurus paucus)
- Porbeagle (Lamna nasus)
- Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus)
- Spiny Dogfish (Squalus acanthias)
- Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)
"Some of these populations have also been severely depleted by the global increase in unregulated fisheries, and markets targeting sharks and their fins," Mr Guy said.
An estimated 70 million sharks a year are killed by commercial and recreational fishing.