PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The federal government says the oceanic whitetip shark will be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act to help the species recover.

The shark lives along the East Coast of the United States, off southern California and in international waters. Conservation group Defenders of Wildlife called on the government to list the species.

Scientists say the sharks have declined by 80 to 90 percent in the Pacific Ocean since the 1990s. They've fallen 50 percent to 85 percent in the Atlantic Ocean since the 1950s.

Conservationists blame commercial fishing and demand for their fins.

A statement in the Federal Register about the listing of the shark says a threatened species is "not presently in danger of extinction, but is likely to become so in the foreseeable future."