Third of Shark, Ray Species Face Extinction, Study Warns

A recent eight-year benchmark global study published on Monday has warned that one-third of the world’s shark and ray species are facing extinction due to overfishing.

The paper, published in the journal Current Biology, warned that the number of species of sharks, rays, and chimeras that are facing “a global extinction crisis” has more than doubled in less than a decade.

Rays are the most in danger with 36% or 220 out of 611 are at risk. Meanwhile, 31.2% or 167 out of 536 sharks species are at risk while 7.7% or 4 out of 52 of the chimera species are at risk.

The study also specified that overfishing is the universal threat affecting all 391 threatened species and is the sole threat for 67.3% of them.

“The widespread depletion of these fishes, particularly sharks and rays, jeopardizes the health of entire ocean ecosystems and food security for many nations around the globe,” said Prof Nicholas Dulvy of Canada’s Simon Fraser University and lead author of the paper.

The study is the second to be carried out since 2014 after a study in January found that shark and ray populations had decreased by more than 70% in the past 50 years.

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