La Jornada – Overfishing leaves sharks and manta rays on the brink of extinction

this is. Wednesday’s report warned that global overfishing has caused more than 70 percent of samples of some shark and rays to have disappeared, a “huge hole” in ocean life from unknown consequences.

The degradation of species such as the hammerhead shark or the manta ray is troublesome.

Others, like the ocean shark, are on the verge of extinction. Hunters are looking for their fins, which are highly valued for cooking. In 60 years, its population has decreased by 98 percent.

“It is a worse decline than most large terrestrial mammals, and is similar or equal to a blue whale,” Professor Nick Dolphy of the Department of Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University in Canada told AFP.

His team collected and analyzed the data to produce a reliable image of 31 species of sharks and rays.

Three-quarters of them are in danger of extinction.

“We knew that the situation was bad in many places, but that came from various studies and reports, and it was difficult to get an idea of ​​the global situation,” said the scientist, Nathan Bakurio, told Agence France-Presse, and confirmed the study published in the journal Nature.

“We are revealing (…) an increased risk of extinction of large species in the largest and most isolated habitats on the planet, which we often think are protected from human influence,” Bakurio of the same Canadian University told AFP.

“The data reveal a large and growing gap in the life of the oceans,” denounce the experts, who call for an end to overfishing.

For the 18 species for which the most data is available, researchers estimate their numbers have decreased by more than 70 percent since 1970.

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Bakoru explains that the results surprised the experts.

In addition to the ocean shark, the common hammerhead shark and the great hammerhead shark has reached a critical point: their population has decreased by more than 80 percent.

Sharks and rays are a particularly vulnerable species because they grow slowly and reproduce little.

According to the study, the use of longlines and fence nets has doubled in fifty years, leading to the capture of marine life indiscriminately.

Bakurio said regional bodies regulating international fishing companies “have not made the protection of sharks and rays a priority.”

The rules of protection work, an example of which is the great white shark, a mythical species that has returned to American waters, explains this expert.

Global numbers of sharks and rays in the oceans have decreased by 71 percent in the last 50 years, mainly due to overfishing. A new study calls on governments to take immediate action to prevent the population from collapsing. Via Graphic News

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