University of Tasmania
Extinction risk and conservation of the world's sharks and rays.pdf (3.51 MB)

Extinction risk and conservation of the world's sharks and rays

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:49 authored by Dulvy, NK, Fowler, SL, Musick, JA, Cavanagh, RD, Kyne, PM, Harrison, LR, Carlson, JK, Davidson, LNK, Fordham, SV, Francis, MP, Pollock, CM, Simpfendorfer, CA, Burgess, GH, Carpenter, KE, Compagno, LJV, Ebert, DA, Gibson, C, Heupel, MR, Livingstone, SR, Sanciangco, JC, Stevens, JD, Valenti, S, White, WT
The rapid expansion of human activities threatens ocean-wide biodiversity. Numerous marine animal populations have declined, yet it remains unclear whether these trends are symptomatic of a chronic accumulation of global marine extinction risk. We present the first systematic analysis of threat for a globally distributed lineage of 1,041 chondrichthyan fishes-sharks, rays, and chimaeras. We estimate that one-quarter are threatened according to IUCN Red List criteria due to overfishing (targeted and incidental). Large-bodied, shallow-water species are at greatest risk and five out of the seven most threatened families are rays. Overall chondrichthyan extinction risk is substantially higher than for most other vertebrates, and only one-third of species are considered safe. Population depletion has occurred throughout the world's ice-free waters, but is particularly prevalent in the Indo-Pacific Biodiversity Triangle and Mediterranean Sea. Improved management of fisheries and trade is urgently needed to avoid extinctions and promote population recovery.


Publication title


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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


eLife Sciences Publications Ltd

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

Licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine biodiversity