A NEW rule coming into effect on September 14 this year will require all countries to regulate the trade of sharks.
This will allow for better protection of sharks worldwide, particularly those on the endangered list.
Imogen Zethoven, the global shark conservation project director with Pew Charitable Trust, said the new rule was being implemented at a critical time.
Speaking at a shark conservation workshop in Nadi on Tuesday, she said not many rules had been put in place by countries worldwide regarding shark conservation.
"This is the problem and why we are seeing such a decline in the shark populations," he said.
"The aim of the workshop will be to work out what needs to be done before this rule is implemented and how countries, especially Pacific Island nations, can better conserve and manage sharks."
Ms Zethoven said the shark population in the Pacific had declined dramatically.
"This is true in the case of migratory sharks in the Pacific Ocean and we have seen the oceanic white tip and hammerhead sharks are in trouble.
"We can stop those species from going extinct and pull back the rate of decline."
She said it was a positive sign to see many Pacific Island countries making shark conservation a priority.
"Countries have the option to introduce laws to protect sharks and it is pleasing to see many Pacific nations have now declared shark sanctuaries.
"The Marshall Islands have banned all imports and exports of sharks."