Fight to protect sharks – Map of the areas where they are most threatened

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A team of researchers created a map showing the areas where sharks are in immediate danger due to fishing, but also the spots that are fully protected

Maintaining the balance of our ecosystem is extremely critical, both on the surface of our planet and underwater.

The sharks they do the most to this end by ensuring species diversity and helping our oceans sequester more carbon by maintaining seagrass meadows

However, they are directly exposed to the human threat. Many shark species are affected by fishing, especially in tropical and coastal areas where large communities depend on fish as their main source of protein.

So a group of researchers from the IUCN Ocean Team created a map that reveals them Important Areas Karharia and Salahiou (ISRA) where shark, shark and chimaera species are most at risk and need protection

“Sharks are a long-lived species: many take a long time to reach sexual maturity and then give birth to only a few young,” said Dr Rima Jabado, Chair of the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, who helped develop the chart.

“This makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing and as it is estimated that the 37% of items with increased risk of extinction, they face a biodiversity crisis.

“Results from the ISRA project will inform policy and ensure that areas critical to the survival of sharks, sharks and chimaeras are considered in spatial planning.”

The ISRA criteria have been developed through a collaborative process involving shark experts, conservation agencies and governments, and include four criteria and seven sub-criteria.

The map highlights shark sanctuaries (grey), no-fishing marine protected areas (pink), as well as biologically important areas (green), key biodiversity areas (blue) and areas where there are complete shark fishing bans (white).

By gathering this information from scientific publications, reports, databases and the expertise of individual shark experts, scientists hope that ISRAs will help government bodies develop policy and plan protected areas.

“We still have so much to learn about many species of sharks, rays and chimaera, but unfortunately several studies show that many protected areas are not adequately meeting their needs,” said Ciaran Hyde, Advisor to the IUCN Ocean Team, which helped develop the frame.

“However, ISRAs will help identify areas for these species using criteria specifically designed to take into account their biological and ecological needs.”

Lynn Sorrentino, Program Manager for the IUCN Oceans Group, added: “The loss of sharks, rays and chimaeras will not only affect the health of the entire ocean ecosystem, but will also affect food security in many countries.”

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