Mediterranean and Black Sea Sharks Critically Endangered

Posted: March 14, 2013

14 March 2013 – The dramatic drop in the populations of Mediterranean and Black Sea sharks will have serious implications for the region’s marine ecosystem and food chains, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in a study released today.

Over the past two centuries, sharks in the Mediterranean Sea have declined by more than 97 per cent in number and ‘catch weight,’ putting them at risk of extinction if current fishing levels continue. In the Black Sea, catches of the main shark species have also declined by half the number since the early 1990s.

“This loss of top predators could hold serious implications for the entire marine ecosystem, greatly affecting food webs throughout this region,” says the study, Elasmobranchs of the Mediterranean and Black Sea: Status, Ecology and Biology, which was produced by FAO.

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