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Study says sharks/rays globally overfished
Date:1/22/2014

cies of rays and sharks, especially those living in relatively shallow water that is accessible to fisheries. The combined effects of overexploitationespecially for the lucrative shark fin soup marketand habit degradation are most severe for the 90 species found in freshwater.

"A whole bunch of wildly charismatic species is at risk. Rays, including the majestic manta and devil rays, are generally worse off than sharks. Unless binding commitments to protect these fish are made now, there is a real risk that our grandchildren won't see sharks and rays in the wild."

Losing these fish will be like losing whole chapters of our evolutionary history says Dulvy. "They are the only living representatives of the first lineage to have jaws, brains, placentas and the modern immune system of vertebrates."

The potential loss of the largest species is frightening for many reasons, says Dulvy. "The biggest species tend to have the greatest predatory role. The loss of top or apex predators cascades throughout marine ecosystems."

The IUCN SSG is calling on governments to safeguard sharks, rays and chimaeras through a variety of measures, including the following: prohibition on catching the most threatened species, science-based fisheries quotas, protection of key habitats and improved enforcement.


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Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert  

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