A big bite for conservation
Overall, you'd have to conclude that 2010 was a better year than most for sharks.
Just before the Christmas season began, both houses of the UN Congress passed the Shark Conservation Act, which basically aims to end the practice of shark finning in US waters by making it illegal.
Conservation groups have been pressing all major fishing nations and blocs to do this.
Otherwise, what tends to happen is that dorsal fins are removed and their former owners left to bleed to death in the open sea - essentially a useless death, killing an entire animal in order to sell one small part comprising a few percent of its weight.
The EU recently showed signs of moving in the same direction, with the European Parliament endorsing a resolution calling for a shark-finning ban.
Meanwhile, the annual meeting of a body that has been a byword for "dysfunctional" in the marine environment, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat), agreed measures to protect oceanic white-tip, hammerhead and mako sharks to varying degrees - albeit rejecting other proposals, including a finning ban.
With the whole of the environmental landscape (and seascape) to choose from, you might wonder why I picked sharks for a final reflection of 2010.
One reason is that pressure of time and other things meant the three instances above did not get adequately reflected here on the BBC website - like many other things I would have liked to report over the year, but that were ultimately squeezed out of the mix.
A much more important reason is that in a sense, sharks encapsulate many of the factors at play when decisions have to be made on issues with a strong environmental component.
A shark finning ban is in the bag for the US... but not, yet, everywhere else
Scientifically, we have a rough idea of the scale of the problem - although records are not as thorough, nor do they go back as far, as you might like.
We also understand to a fair degree the importance of sharks in the overall marine ecosystem.
And we know enough of their biology to deduce that they're particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure.
The animals are valued by people, but in very different ways - as functioning fish by divers, as providers of fins by fishermen.
Yet they are also unintentially side-swiped, through being caught accidentally on fishing hooks set for other species.
And in some quarters they are abhorred - as noted by events in Egypt, where tourists have recently been attacked, and where environmental groups have accused the authorities of needlessly killing sharks in a misguided response.
Plotting their future course is difficult, as no-one knows the future impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems, nor how future generations will choose to regulate fishing.
So we see how policymakers respond to this miasma of uncertainties and mixed interests... as we do on the much more convoluted issues of global biodiversity and climate change.
On those two big themes - both of which came through seminal moments this year, from ClimateGate to Nagoya to Cancun - the concept of global policymaking emerged in ruder health than many would have suspected at the beginning of the year.
I went through issues raised in Cancun in my previous post, so I won't go over that ground again - except to note in response to your comments, JackHughes and Spanglerboy, that of course I'm still seriously writing about global warming - do you seriously think that doing otherwise is an option, given the importance of the issue?
But the issues raised on biodiversity through the year, at the UN summit in Nagoya and elsewhere, are equally profound; and sharks are an exemplar par excellence of just why they are profoundly challenging.
The New Year is relatively devoid of set-pieces; but we will see governments and people who would influence governments putting together packages of options that will, in various mixtures, attempt to reconcile science with policy on these very big, complex and pressured issues.
You can see the progress on sharks as an indication that when governments are persuaded that an environmental issue really matters, they can and sometimes will deal with it effectively.
Equally, you could deduce that getting them to this stage can be as tough as trying to herd a shoal of great whites with a spoon.
We'll see how they get on.
In the meantime, best wishes to you all for a very happy beginning to 2011.
And if you'd like something to raise a smile as we make the transition, have a look at this climate change sketch from the UK's Armstrong and Miller show... made me laugh, at any rate.