A study released by James Cook University, Australia, indicates that it has detected that the global presence of oceanic sharks and rays has dropped to the point that 75% of these species are currently considered endangered. Photo: Pixabay
Fishing brings sharks and rays to the brink of extinction, according to study
EFE Agency via El Comercio
January 28, 2021 06:55
Overfishing is bringing sharks and rays to the brink of extinction, [species] whose populations have decreased by 75% since the 1970s, according to an international study published in the journal Nature.
“The figures show that the global presence of oceanic sharks and rays has fallen to the point that 75% of these species are currently considered in danger of extinction,” said Cassandra Rigby, a participant in this project, in a statement released on 28 January 2021 by James Cook University in Australia.
The main reason for this decline in these species, which is based on the calculations of two biodiversity indicators for sharks and rays that inhabit the planet’s oceans, is that fishing pressure has doubled and the catch of these two marine species has tripled, the statement added.
“This figure represents an 18-fold increase in relative fishing pressure – exploitation relative to the number of fish that exist -. The decline may be worse because this analysis began in 1970, while fishing fleets expanded at a global level world before the 1950s,” adds Rigby.
Despite a demographic drop for these two marine species, scientists noted that the populations of the great white and hammerhead shark of the northwestern Atlantic appear to rebound as a result of strict US laws to protect these two species.
The study is a project of the Global Shark Trends Project (GSTP), in collaboration with specialists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Simon Fraser University (Canada), James Cook University, and the Georgia Aquarium (United States).
“Limits on fishing need to be imposed to prevent the collapse of shark and ray populations,” remarked Colin Simpfendorfer of James Cook University, insisting that humanity is “making bets on what a future without sharks and rays in the oceans would be like.”
The FAO indicated in a report last year that there are many gaps in the information regarding compliance with international standards, “particularly for groups such as sharks, rays and chimeras in marine capture fisheries.”
This content has been originally published by Diario EL COMERCIO at the following address: https://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/pesca-extincion-tiburones-rayas-estudio.html
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