Sharks have persisted as powerful ocean predators for more than 400 million years. They survived five mass extinctions, diversifying into an amazing variety of forms and lifestyles. But this ancient lineage is now among the world’s most threatened species groups due to overexploitation in poorly regulated fisheries and the proliferation of wasteful finning practices.
Nearly two-thirds of coral reef shark and ray species worldwide are threatened with extinction, a new study in Nature Communications co-authored by the Sea Around Us’ Maria ‘Deng’ Palomares shows.
“Killing sharks is ocean vandalism,” Jessica Meeuwig, head of the Marine Futures Lab at the University of Western Australia and a close collaborator of the Sea Around Us and the Sea Around Us – Indian Ocean, told journalists following reports of a 395-kilogram tiger shark having been caught by a recreational fishing crew during a competition off the coast of Sydney.
Shark and ray species commonly caught in the Mediterranean and Black seas are not being reported in official statistics, new research from the Sea Around Us initiative at the University of British Columbia shows.
A new study published in Marine Policy reveals that 97 per cent of the sharks and rays caught and brought to market domestically by fleets from the European, North African and Middle Eastern countries that surround these seas are not reported by species.