A newly released peer-reviewed paper in Frontiers in Marine Science emphasises that establishing measures to address the global decline in Chondrichthyes is more urgent than ever.
NEWS | September 20, 2022
From | SOSF Project News
Written by | Lynn Sorrentino, Ciaran Hyde, Rima Jabado
«A newly released peer-reviewed paper in Frontiers in Marine Science emphasises that establishing measures to address the global decline in Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays, and chimaeras [ghost sharks], hereafter ‘sharks’) is more urgent than ever. The paper, “Putting sharks on the map: a global standard for improving shark area-based conservation,” outlines a set of standardized criteria for Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRAs) that can support management considerations to reverse the loss of sharks globally and integrate these into area-based planning.
Why do sharks need protection?
The most recent global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List) assessment of sharks estimated that over one-third of species (37%, range 32.6–45.5%) are threatened with extinction (i.e., considered Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable). Three-quarters of oceanic species are threatened with extinction, and all but one of the 16 species of wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes face a very high risk of extinction.
Current measures for the protection and improvement of shark habitats are not working. Yet area-based protection is a cornerstone for halting the loss of biodiversity, and the number of initiatives focused on identifying key sites or seascapes of importance for biodiversity conservation has proliferated in recent decades. The IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, with support from the IUCN Ocean Team and the IUCN Task Force on Marine Mammal Protected Areas, have developed ISRAs: an innovative approach to ensure that discrete portions of habitats critical to shark species are delineated and used in various place-based conservation and management initiatives across the world’s ocean.»