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Marine Science

IUCN REPORT HIGHLIGHTS THREATS TO SHARKS AND RAYS

IUCN report

IUCN report highlights threats to sharks and rays

recent report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) highlights the growing problem of low oxygen zones in the ocean, according to the Marine Biological Association (MBA).

The report contains a chapter written by MBA researchers that examines the threats posed by these zones to sharks, skates and rays.

An MBA statement said: “Climate change and nutrient pollution are driving life-sustaining oxygen out of our ocean and coastal waters. This loss of oxygen compounds problems from ocean warming and acidification, threatening marine life and fisheries around the world.

“Sharks, tunas and other large predatory fish are having their habitat squeezed as deeper waters become unavailable for them to hunt in or find refuge from surface fisheries.”

Prof David Sims, author of the chapter on elasmobranchs, said, “Shrinking habitats of already threatened sharks means susceptibility to overfishing will be even greater in the future.”

MBA Honorary Fellow Sylvia Earle said, “The oxygen in the ocean is on a nosedive, we need to listen up and be prepared to do something about it while there is still time.”

Read the report here.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.

Find out more about the work of the @TheSimsLab at https://www.mba.ac.uk/fellows/sims-lab and at www.globalsharkmovement.org