1 Tahrcountry Musings: Extinction crisis Looms Large Over Open Ocean (pelagic) Sharks and Rays

Friday, June 26, 2009

Extinction crisis Looms Large Over Open Ocean (pelagic) Sharks and Rays

Overfishing and bycatch of Open Ocean (pelagic) Sharks and Rays is driving them to the brink of extinction. A recent study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group, has set the alarm bells ringing. The study found that 32 percent of the species are threatened with extinction. They are now more threatened than birds (12 percent), mammals (20 percent), and even amphibians (31 percent).

The demand for shark meat and fins are on the rise. Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in many areas. In finning the crudely is abhorrent. The fins are sliced off the shark and the body tossed overboard. Sharks take many years to mature and have relatively few young. So the effect of overfishing is profound.

IUCN has requested all countries to strictly enforce laws and protect the species considered Critically Endangered and Endangered. 24 percent of the species are Near Threatened and 25 percent Data Deficient.

Here is a list of the shark species.

Endangered, 4 species

Ornate eagle ray Aetomylaeus vespertilio; Giant devilray Mobula mobular ; Scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini ; Great hammerhead Sphyrna mokarran.

Vulnerable, 16 species

Whale shark Rhincodon typus; Smalltooth sand tiger Odontaspis ferox; Pelagic thresher Alopias pelagicus; Bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosus; Thresher shark Alopias vulpinus; Basking shark Cetorhinus maximus; Great white Carcharodon carcharias; Shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus; Longfin mako Isurus paucus; Porbeagle shark Lamna nasus; Tope shark Galeorhinus galeus; Oceanic whitetip shark Carcharhinus longimanus; Dusky shark Carcharhinus obscurus; Sandbar shark Carcharhinus plumbeus; Night shark Carcharhinus signatus; Smooth hammerhead Sphyrna zygaena.

Near threatened, 15 species

Frilled shark Chlamydoselachus anguineus; Bluntnose sixgill shark Hexanchus griseus; Spotted eagle ray Aetobatus narinari; Manta Oceanic Manta birostris; Spinetail devilray Mobula japanica; Crocodile shark Pseudocarcharias kamoharai; Silvertip shark Carcharhinus albimarginatus; Bronze whaler Carcharhinus brachyurus; Spinner shark Carcharhinus brevipinna; Silky shark Oceanic Carcharhinus falciformis; Galapagos shark Carcharhinus galapagensis; Bull shark Carcharhinus leucas; Blacktip shark Carcharhinus limbatus; Tiger shark Semipelagic Galeocerdo cuvier; Blue shark Prionace glauca.

For more information please contact:
• Sarah Horsley, IUCN Media Relations Officer, t +41 22 999 0127, m +41 79 528 3486, e sarah.horsley@iucn.org
• Rob McNeil, International Media Director, Conservation International, t +1 703 341 2561, e rmcneil@conservation.org
• Mona Samari, Shark Alliance, t +44 (0) 7515 828 939, e mona@communicationsinc.co.uk

1 comment:

Ruby.A said...

I was shocked to read about the cruel finning practice followed.