Climate change and overfishing are the biggest risks for sharks and rays.
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s sharks and rays living on coral reefs are threatened with extinction, according to a new study published on Tuesday, reports news agency AFP.
Coral reefs are home to about a quarter of all the world’s seafood, and their condition has collapsed due to human activities. Coral reefs are burdened and destroyed by, among other things, overfishing, pollution and climate change.
Known as predators of reefs, sharks and rays play an important role in maintaining their ecosystems, and other species cannot fill their place, says Samantha Sherman from Simon Fraser University in Canada.
Sharks and the fate of the rays shows Nature Communications – however, according to the research published in the publication, dark. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) studied a total of 134 species of sharks and rays that live on coral reefs.
The study revealed that as many as 59 percent of these species are at risk of extinction. The risk of extinction of sharks and rays living on coral reefs is almost double compared to the risk of other shark and ray species.
Five of the shark species examined in the study and nine of the ray species were listed as extremely endangered.
– It was quite surprising how high the threat is to these species, says Sherman to AFP.
– Many of the species that we thought were common are decreasing at an alarming rate and becoming increasingly difficult to find in some places.
Nine of the ray species studied in the study were extremely endangered. Picture: COLIN SIMPFENDORFER/AFP/SIMON FRASER UNIVERSUTY/JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY
Sherman’s according to the biggest threat to sharks and rays is overfishing. The most difficult situation for them is currently in the western Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. Rays are also crowded in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.
In addition, climate change has affected the plight of species, as the condition of coral reefs has collapsed rapidly as the climate warms.
According to AFP, based on the modeling carried out in the study, up to 99 percent of the world’s coral reefs will be destroyed if the climate warms by 1.5 percent. If the warming is two degrees, the figure rises to one hundred percent.