News Release

Quarter of northeast Atlantic sharks and rays threatened with extinction

10 November 2008
Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus) (photo © Steven Campana)

The release of the first ever IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ assessment of northeast Atlantic sharks, rays and chimaeras reveals that 26 percent are threatened with extinction and another 20 percent are in the Near Threatened category.

The total number of threatened species may well be higher as there was insufficient information to assess more than a quarter (27 percent) of the species.

The report, released by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG), reveals that shark, ray and chimaera species are much more threatened in the northeast Atlantic than they are globally. Specifically, seven percent of species in the northeast Atlantic are classified as Critically Endangered, seven percent as Endangered, and 12 percent as Vulnerable, primarily due to overfishing. This means 26 percent are threatened in the northeast Atlantic, compared with 18 percent globally.


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