Japanese scientists estimate more than 2,000,000 salmon sharks hunt the North Pacific Ocean, but this estimate is controversial and may be high. Their population appears to be healthy in Alaska.
However, salmon sharks are a long-lived, slow-growing species with a low reproductive rate. This makes them susceptible to over-exploitation. Fisheries on sharks would likely result in a dramatic decline in the regional shark population, similar to what has occurred to other shark populations in other oceans. Alaska fisheries managers are taking a conservative management approach to shark fisheries. This probably has helped in maintaining healthy shark populations in Alaska and also a relatively stable marine ecosystem. The Alaska fisheries managers have not addressed as yet the many fishermen in the region who regularly kill any sharks they catch by cutting off their tails or shooting them on sight and bycatch of sharks in the Bering Sea.