A 10-year strategy to save sharks and rays

February 16, 2016

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Photo Credit: © C. McClennen

It's estimated that a quarter of the planet's roughly 1,250 shark and ray species are in danger of going extinct. This week, a group of leading international conservation organizations, including WCS, has announced a new strategy to save them.

The goal: by 2025, the conservation status of the world's sharks and rays has improved—declines have been halted, extinctions have been prevented, and commitments to their conservation have increased globally.

According to the group's report, rays are even more threatened and less protected than the higher profile sharks and they call for greater inclusion of rays in conservation action plans.

The strategy also emphasizes that science-based limits on shark and ray fishing and trade are urgently needed to end overfishing and ensure sustainability.

And that there is a need for more information. Nearly half of the world's shark and ray species have been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as "Data Deficient," meaning that the available information is insufficient to assess the health of their populations.

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