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Are Sharks Endangered? | BeCause Tees

Are Sharks Endangered?

Sharks have survived on this planet for millions of years, however, they're facing various threats that are reducing their populations. Sharks contribute to healthy marine ecosystems and their disappearance could have devastating consequences. There are concerns over the population status of various shark species, with some potentially heading towards the brink of extinction. Let's investigate why some sharks are endangered and the reasons for their declines.

Sharks in the ocean

    Declining Shark Populations

    Many shark populations are in decline, and have been for many years. A study found that since 1970, the global abundance of sharks and rays has declined by 71%. 

    Unfortunately, the outlook for sharks hasn't improved in recent years - in fact, the numbers are continuining to decline. A scientific paper has found that whilst a global assessment in 2014 concluded that 24% of sharks and rays were threatened, a more recent global assessment has provided a new figure of 32.6%, believed to increase to 37.5% if data deficient species are taken into account.

    Why Are Sharks Endangered?

    Sharks are endangered because of various threats they face, including: 

    • Overfishing - being caught for their fins, meat, and liver oil.
    • Bycatch - unintentionally being caught in large trawler nets.
    • Habitat loss and degradation - mainly caused by coastal developments, pollution, and climate change.

    Learn more about the environmental pressures of a shark.

    Which Sharks Are Endangered?

    Unfortunately, there's a long list of shark species that are considered to be Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable according to the International Union of Conservation (IUCN) Red List. Here's a snapshot of some of these endangered shark species:

    Hammerhead shark

    Hammerhead Sharks (Family: Sphyrnidae)

    Hammerhead sharks are facing significant threats globally. Some hammerhead species are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN:

    • Scalloped Hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) 
    • Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran)
    • Smalleye Hammerhead (Sphyrna tudes)

    Hammerheads are known for their distinctively shaped heads, which make them especially vulnerable to capture in fishing gear.

    Whale shark 

    Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)

    Not only the largest shark in the world, the whale shark also wins the accolade of largest fish in the world. Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, the population of whale sharks is believed to be decreasing.

    Shortfin Mako Shark

    Shortfin Mako (Isurus oxyrinchus)

    Now we've covered the largest shark, how about the fastest shark in the world? That title goes to the shortfin mako, which can reach swimming speeds of 70km per hour. An Endangered species, according to the IUCN Red List, shortfin mako sharks face a global threat of overfishing and bycatch.

    Angelshark 

    Angelshark (Squatina squatina)

    Angelsharks are listed as Critcally Endangered by the IUCN. There are various types of Angelshark, many of which are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered, including the Indonesian Angelshark (Squatina legnota), and Taiwan Angelshark (Squatina formosa).

     Great White Shark

    Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias)

    One of the most iconic and well-known shark species, the great white shark is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, with a decreasing population.

     

    Sharks play crucial roles in maintaining the health and balance of our ocean ecosystems, which makes their conservation so important. Many sharks are endangered, and raising awareness of the threats they face and finding solutions to overcome them is vital to ensure endangered shark populations can recover. Shop our shark designs to celebrate these incredible creatures!

    Shark clothing and gifts

     

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