Ocean Sharks Face Extinction

Study finds severe effects of intentional, unintentional fishing
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2008 1:40 PM CDT
Ocean Sharks Face Extinction
A whale shark swims beneath service members and veterans as they are guided on a swim in the tank of the Georgia Aquarium on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Amis)

Ocean sharks are threatened with extinction, with 11 species designated “high-risk” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and five more also in danger. Sharks are dwindling from intentional fishing, which targets them for their meat and fins, and “bycatch” fishing that lands them in nets meant for tuna and swordfish. The group is calling for global catch limits, the BBC reports.

"There's this idea that because these are widely ranging species, they're more resilient to fishing pressure," said the chair of the IUCN's Shark Specialist Group. "In fact they're becoming species of serious concern because there are no international catch limits for sharks. There are intense fisheries on the oceans, and they remain pretty much unprotected." (More sharks stories.)

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