40% of Europe’s sharks and rays face extinction, says IUCN

The ocean update

Angel shark, Squatina squatina, once abundant has drastically declined and has been declared locally extinct in the North Sea and also from large areas of the northern Mediterranean Sea. Photograph: Tony Gilbert/IUCN Angel shark, Squatina squatina, once abundant has drastically declined and has been declared locally extinct in the North Sea and also from large areas of the northern Mediterranean Sea. Photograph: Tony Gilbert/IUCN

June 3rd, 2015. New red list classifies 7.5% of all marine species as threatened with extinction in first full assessment of the continent’s oceanic biodiversity

About 40% of Europe’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction, according to the authoritative red list’s first full assessment of Europe’s 1,220 marine species.

Where fish population trends could be measured, nearly a third were found to be in decline by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which publishes the list. The IUCN found 7.5% of all the continent’s marine species at risk of extinction – a number that jumps to 10% when ‘near threatened’ species are counted too.

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