A third of shark and ray species have been overfished to near extinction, according to an eight-yearyear Research.
“Sharks and rays are the canary in the coal mine of overfishing. If I tell you that three quarters of tropical and subtropical coastal species are threatened, just imagine a David Attenborough series with 75% of predators are gone. If sharks are declining, there is a serious problem with fishing,” said the newspaper lead author, Prof. Nicholas Dulvy, of Simon Fraser University in Canada.
The health of “whole ocean ecosystems” and food security was in danger, said Dulvy, and former co-chairman of the shark specialist group of the International Union for Preservation of Nature (IUCN).
The number of kind of sharks, rays and chimeras, collectively known as chondrichthyan fish, facing “An global extinction crisis” has more then doubled in less than a decade, according to the paper die was published today in the journal Current Biology.
Rays are most threatened, with 41% of 611 species studied in risk; 36% of 536 shark species are present risk; and 9% of 52 chimera species.
Dulvy said: “Our study reveals an increasingly grim reality, with these species now make up one of the most endangered genera of vertebrates, second only for the amphibians in the risks die she face.
“The widespread exhaustion” of these fish, met especially sharks and rays, bring health in danger of entire ocean ecosystems and food security for many countries over all over the world,” he said.
The rating is the second to wear out since 2014 and comes after a study in January found shark and ray populations were crashed by more than 70% in the past 50 years, with previously widespread species such as hammerhead sharks facing become extinct.
Sharks, rays and chimeras are vulnerable to overfishing because they grow slowly and produce little young. It has been estimated that 100 million sharks are killed by humans every day year, overwhelming their slow reproductive capacity. Industrial fishing was a “key threat” to chondrichthyans, i.e. on its own of in combination with other fisheries, the authors said.
Most of the sharks and rays are taken “unintentionally”, but can be the “unofficial target” in many fisheries, the report said, and are conserved for food and animal feed. Habitat loss and degradation, the climate crisis and pollution overfishing, the authors said.
The species are disproportionately threatened in tropical and subtropical waters, especially off countries like Indonesia and India, the experts found, because of very high demand of large coastal populations together with mostly unregulated fishing, often driven by demand for higher value products such as fins.
having Chondrichthyes survived at least five mass extinctions in their 420m year history, according to the report. But at least three species are now critically endangered and possibly extinct. The Javan stingray has not been seen since 1868, the Red Sea torpedo beam since 1898 and the lost shark in the South China Sea has not been seen since 1934. Their disappearance would first time in the world marine species were extinct because of overfishing.
Colin Simpfendorfer, Deputy professor at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, said: “The tropics are home to an incredible diversity of sharks and rays, but too many of these inherently vulnerable species have been heavily fished for more than a century by a wide range of fishing die remain poorly managed despite numerous commitments to improve.
“Like a result, we fear we will soon confirm Which one of more of these species are met extinction threatened by overfishing – a very disturbing first for sea fishing,” he said. “We’ll work to turn this study into a turning point in attempts to prevent more irreversible losses and safe long-term durability.”
The experts, mainly from the IUCN shark specialist group, assessed 1,199 species and classified 391 in the IUCN Endangered Categories of critically endangered (90 species), endangered (121 species) of vulnerable (180 species).
The most endangered species are sawfish, giant guitarfish, devil rays and pelagic eagle rays. More than three quarters of species are threatened in the tropics and subtropical coasts – in the special in the northern Indian Ocean, western central and northWestern Pacific – from Pakistan to Japan.
The first global judgement in 2014 concluded that: An quarter of chondrichthyan species were threatened. A third is now threatened with become extinct. However, the authors added Which for die types for whose data was scarce, the figure rose to almost two-fifths.
Sonja Fordham, co-author and chair of Shark Advocates International, an Ocean Foundation project, said: “We all knew that sharks… in problems, but there is a lot more information now, as well as conservation measures and yet, compared met 2014, twice so many species are categorized as endangered. That is alarming and shocking, even to experts.”
while noting: more conservation measures and commitments had been made in place, she called for urgent action by governments to limit fishing.
“Time is running out for more and more shark and ray species,” said Fordham.
The study was completed by the Global Shark Trends Project, a cooperation of the IUCN shark specialist group, Simon Fraser University, James Cook University and the Georgia Aquarium, funded by the Shark Preservation Fund
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