Due to exploitation from commercial, recreational, and unregulated fisheries, the tiger shark has a “Near Threatened” evaluation on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is close to meeting “Vulnerable”.
In Australia, the Queensland Shark Control Program showed declines in catch rates since the 1980’s and in New South Wales, evidence of a decline was also seen in the last 20 years. Additionally, a significant reduction of the proportion of mature sharks in catches over 60 years suggests shifts in population structure and raises concerns over possible effects from this program on the Tiger Shark population off New South Wales. The decline off eastern Australia is likely to continue while the shark control programs off Queensland and New South Wales remain active.
In the U.S. fisheries of the Western North Atlantic, observer surveys variously recorded increases in tiger shark relative abundance and no change in abundance. In South Africa, the beach protection program showed a 3% increase per year in tiger shark catch rates. The increasing rates in the Western North Atlantic and South Africa seem consistent with the pattern observed in the first 20 years in Queensland and the interpretation of such upward trends should be made with caution.
In the Arabian Seas region, the tiger shark has been assessed as Vulnerable based on a suspected decline of at least 30% over the past three generations based on levels of exploitation, with the continued demand from the shark fin market suspected to result in further population reduction in the future.
Globally, the tiger shark is suspected to have declined by close to 30% over the past three generations (53-68 years) due to exploitation from commercial, recreational, and unregulated fisheries, as well as shark control programs. A further population reduction is suspected over the future three generation lengths (2018-2086) based on current levels of exploitation that are likely to continue into the future.
As such this species is assessed as Near Threatened and is close to meeting Vulnerable A2bd+3d..
• Image | ©️ Kris-Mikael Krister, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY 2.0)
• Sources | (Akhilesh, et al., 2011; Baum & Blachard 2010; Baum, et al., 2003; Bonfil, 2003; Draper, 2011; Dudley & Simpfendorfer, 2006; Ferreira & Simpfendorfer, 2019; Holmes, et al., 2012; Jabado & Spaet, 2017; Jabado, et al., 2015, 2017; Kattan, 2014 Park, 2007; Paterson, 1990; Reid, Robbins, & Peddemors, 2011; Spaet, Nanninga, & Berumen, 2016; Valinassab, Daryanabard, Dehghani, & Pierce, 2006)