Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sharks in decline

The first study to determine the global status of 21 species of wide-ranging oceanic pelagic sharks and rays reveals serious overfishing. 16 out of the 21 oceanic shark and ray species that are caught in high seas fisheries are at heightened risk of extinction, due primarily to targeted fishing for valuable fins and meat as well as indirect take in other fisheries. Sharks and rays are particularly vulnerable to overfishing due to their tendency to take many years to become sexually mature and have relatively few offspring. These findings and recommendations for action are published in the latest edition of Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

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