“The release yesterday of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) assessment of giant guitarfish and wedgefish identifies these flattened sharks as the world’s most threatened marine fish. The new IUCN Red List assessments classified all but one of the 16 warm-water flat shark species as Critically Endangered with declines of more than 80 percent over the past 30 to 45 years, due primarily to overfishing. The updated assessments and peer-reviewed research comes four months after the IUCN announced an upgraded threat level to Endangered for the shortfin and longfin mako sharks with a 90 percent decline in the Atlantic over the past 75 years. These declines are in large part due to the value of their fins – which are traded globally and prized for use in shark fin soup, and command the highest price of all fins in trade hubs such as Hong Kong,” states a press release.
Note: While this article is not directly related to MSC this is very shocking information and once more highlights how many species are by now threatened by extinction and therefore listed by IUCN as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable. And in particular more and more shark and ray species are in urgent need of better protection. However, MSC still ignores the “threatened” status of the IUCN’s red list for all fishes – including sharks and rays – for designation of ETP species!