LONDON (UK)- In total 300 shark species of sharks and rays are now threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). One shark, the Lost Shark, was only formally described last year, just to become as good as extinct now. Lost, found, and lost again..
The Lost Shark, Carcharhinus obsoletus, was last recorded in 1934. Its habitat in the South China Sea has been extensively fished for more than a century and remains one of the most overexploited marine regions in the world. As it is unlikely that the species could have persisted under this heavy pressure, the lost shark may already be extinct. It enters the IUCN Red List straight away as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).
This status is also given to four hammerhead shark species, four species of angel shark and the giant manta ray. In the new update of the Red List, its first comprehensive global update since 2014, a total of 316 species of sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras are now classified as “threatened,” or at risk of extinction in the wild.
Next to sharks and rays 31 animal and fish species have been declared extinct. The new report by IUCN paints a grim picture of the health of the world’s oceans and their inhabitants, and highlights, in particular, the threat of overfishing. “The growing list of Extinct species is a stark reminder that conservation efforts must urgently expand”, says Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General. “To tackle global threats such as unsustainable fisheries, land clearing for agriculture, and invasive species, conservation needs to happen around the world and be incorporated into all sectors of the economy.”
Read the IUCN Red List at https://www.iucnredlist.org.