«…Our feature story is the second of a series of fact sheets on human impacts on sharks and rays. Developed in collaboration with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), this issue relates to habitat loss and degradation, the second most important threat to this species group after fisheries… A new study highlights their importance to a wide range of species and adds weight to why these habitats should be preserved in light of growing pressure from coastal development and climate change. This is also reinforced by the story of the Maugean Skate – a species that has not received enough attention but is facing a high risk of extinction, not from fisheries, but from the loss of suitable habitat. For some species, we know less, and from China, we have an update from a project investigating the movement of Blue Sharks in the Tropical Central and Western Pacific. This wide-ranging species is extensively captured in pelagic fisheries, so understanding the habitats it uses can support conservation.
We have some positive news from Iran – the Tentacled Butterfly Ray was rediscovered!... Türkiye highlights the importance of citizen science approaches with aggregations of several threatened species recorded in one bay. In Thailand, work has been ongoing to develop identification materials to support implementing their national plan of action.
With the Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRA) project, we continue to put sharks, rays, and chimaeras on the map around the world, region by region. We provide an update on our first completed region – the Central and South American Pacific. The eAtlas was launched earlier this year, and the compendium showcased here will be one of many as each region is completed. Our Mediterranean and Black Seas workshop was held in May, and we hope to also have all this information online in August. The number of contributors to the ISRA project is growing, with the Western Indian Ocean coming up next.
Dr Rima W. Jabado: IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group (SSG) Chair
We also would like to thank and recognise the many contributors who have contributed and helped to shape this eighth issue: Rima Jabado, Chelsea Stein, Alexandra Morata, Brendan Talwar, Sara Al Mabruk, Simon J. Pierce, Guido Leurs, Nathan Pacoureau, Ryan Charles, Tassapon Krajangdara, Yunkai Li, Mohsen Rezaie-Atagholipour, Hakan Kabasakal, Colin Simpfendorfer, Huber Arte Marinha, Divya Karnad, Xiao Chen, Jie Zhang, Michael Scholl, Peter Scholl and all the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group (SSG) members.