The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has announced an update to the classification status for 40 sharks and rays species, and it ain’t good news.
One of the 40 species, the Java sting ray, is believed to be possibly extinct now, while eight species have been placed on the Critically Endangered list. This means they are one small step away from joining the dinosaurs.
Commenting on the reclassification Andy Cornish, the leader of Sharks: Restoring the Balance, WWF’s global shark and ray conservation program, stated:
“The alarm-bells for sharks and rays could not be ringing louder. The sheer number and diversity of these animals facing extinction is staggering. Overfishing is by far the greatest threat and has to be reined in. The good news is that solutions to this crisis do exist. Governments and the regional fisheries management organizations, which manage fishing in the high seas, must act now and boldly to recover the most threatened species before it is too late.”
The new listings bring the global total to 355 sharks and rays that have been placed on the Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered lists.