SAD NEWS ABOUT SHARK & RAYS.

A quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extinction.

Sawfish

January 2014: A staggering quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with ray species particularly at risk.

The study, the result of a collaboration of 302 experts from 64 countries and the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG), analysed the conservation status of 1,041 shark, ray and closely related chimaera species.

“Our analysis shows that sharks and their relatives are facing an alarmingly elevated risk of extinction,” says Dr Nick Dulvy, IUCN SSG Co-Chair and Canada Research Chair at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. “In greatest peril are the largest species of rays and sharks, especially those living in shallow water that is accessible to fisheries.”

Overfishing is the main threat to the species, according to the paper. Reported catches of sharks, rays and chimaeras peaked in 2003 and have been dominated by rays for the last 40 years. Actual catches are likely to be grossly under-reported.Unintentionally caught sharks and rays account for much of the catch, yet developing markets and depleting fishery targets have made this “bycatch” increasingly welcome.

Intentional killing of sharks and rays due to the perceived risk that they pose to people, fishing gear or target species is contributing to the threatened status of at least 12 species.

Check out the whole articleat Wild LIfe Extra  [here]

Patrik Karlsson