Sharks belong to the Chondrichthyes class, together with skates, rays and chimaeras, and are found in a wide variety of habitats worldwide, employing many biological strategies. Although sharks make up only a small percentage of the world's recorded fish landings, they are extremely versatile and are a valuable resource. They are of primary importance in some regions of the world, sustaining important fisheries in several countries. Moreover, they are a cheap but valuable source of protein for coastal communities dependent on subsistence fisheries. Humans can utilize much of the carcass for food or other uses. Sharks are exploited for their meat, fins, skin, teeth, cartilage, liver and other internal organs. It is not possible to utilize every shark for all these uses, as the methods of preservation and preparation are often mutually exclusive and not all shark species are suitable for all applications. This report details the species used and the methods of preparation for the various purposes. It assembles information, as well as the latest statistics available, from those parts of the world where sharks are important economically as a substantial fisheries sector, a contribution to human food or a valuable trading item.