5 hours ago
|March 22nd 2019|
Human appetites are pushing #makos and other iconic #sharks to the brink of #extinction , scientists warned in a new assessment of the #apex predator's conservation status.
Seventeen of 58 #species evaluated were classified as facing extinction, the #SharkSpecialistGroup of the International Union for the Conservation ( #IUCN ) said late Thursday in an update of the #RedList of threatened animals and plants.
"Our results are alarming," said Nicholas Dulvy, who chairs the grouping of 174 experts from 55 countries.
"The sharks that are especially slow-growing, sought-after and unprotected from overfishing tend to be the most threatened."
That category includes the #shortfinmako , whose cruising speed of 40 km/h (25 mph)—punctuated by bursts of more than 70 km/h—makes it the fastest of all sharks.
Along with its longfin cousin, the two makos are highly prized for their flesh and fins, considered a delicacy in #Chinese and other Asian culinary #traditions.
"Today, one of the biggest shark fisheries on the high seas is the mako," Dulvy told AFP. "It is also one of the least protected."
In May, nations will vote on a proposal by Mexico to list the shortfin mako on Appendix II of #CITES , the Convention on International Trade in #EndangeredSpecies.
An #AppendixII status would not ban #fishing or #trade , but would regulate it.
Six of the species reviewed were listed as "critically endangered," three for the first time: the whitefin swellshark, the Argentine angel shark, and the smoothback #angelshark.
Eleven others were classified as either "endangered" or "vulnerable" to extinction.
The IUCN's shark group is conducting a two-year review of more than 400 species of sharks.