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17 endangered shark species

According to experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as many as 17 out of 58 shark species surveyed are currently threatened with extinction. Unfortunately, the situation for sharks is getting worse with each passing year, and there is no reason for optimism. Of the 17 threatened species, six are classified
Published: April 1, 2019 - 17:17
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:00
17 endangered shark species

According to experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as many as 17 out of 58 shark species surveyed are currently threatened with extinction. Unfortunately, the situation for sharks is getting worse with each passing year, and there is no reason for optimism. Of the 17 threatened species, six are classified as Critically Endangered.

No one needs much convincing that the list of endangered sharks is growing. Three new endangered species – the Whitefin swellshark(Cephaloscyllium albipinnum), the Argentine angelshark(Squatina argentina) and the Smoothback angelshark(Squatina oculata) – have appeared in the latest study.

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The IUCN report identifies the demand for shark fins, meat and liver oil as the main reasons for the dramatic situation of sharks. It might seem that sharks are extremely tough creatures as top marine predators, but the truth is quite different. It turns out that these giant fish are very vulnerable and sensitive to human interference in their ecosystems.

[blockquote style=”2″]”Our results are worrying but not surprising. It turns out that sharks that are particularly slow to grow and mature are the most sought after and vulnerable to overfishing, and thus tend to be the most endangered,” said Nicholas Dulvy of the IUCN[/blockquote].

The Atlantic sharpnose shark is the fastest of all sharks, but in the last 75 years the population of this species has declined by as much as 60 per cent in the Atlantic! The only way to save the entire species is to place it on Appendix II of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The reason why sharks are so vulnerable to human activities is that these large fish mature very slowly and do not have many offspring. For example, the Greeneye Spurdog (Squalus chloroculus) has the longest gestation period in the entire animal kingdom.

It is estimated that nearly 100 million sharks are caught each year (data based on a 2013 study). On top of this, more than half of all shark species on Earth are endangered or on the verge of being threatened with extinction.

Source: earth.com
Photo: wikipedia.org CC BY 2.5

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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