The Smooth Hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena, is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The Smooth Hammerhead is widespread in temperate and tropical waters, and is distinguished from other hammerhead sharks by the single notch in the centre of its hammer-shaped head.
Smooth Hammerheads are caught in a variety of fishing gear in coastal and oceanic fisheries, both as bycatch and as targeted catch. This species is being increasingly targeted for the shark fin trade, as its large fins are highly valued and are often removed while the rest of the carcass is discarded.
Five shark species (including the Smooth Hammerhead) were granted international level protection under Appendix II of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in September 2014. This listing is designed to ensure that commercial international trade is strictly regulated to ensure its sustainability, legality and traceability for the long-term survival of the species in the wild. It is the first time that shark species of great commercial value, and traded in high volumes, have been included in Appendix II.