Almost 59% of the 134 shark and ray species on coral reefs are threatened with extinction. Overfishing is the main cause of the increased risk of extinction, accompanied by climate change and habitat degradation. The risk is greatest for larger-bodied species distributed across multiple national jurisdictions and in countries with greater fishing pressure and weaker governance. Population declines have been occurring for over half a century. Immediate action by protecting these species locally and smart management of large-scale fisheries and marine protected areas is needed to avoid extinction and loss of critical ecosystem functions, dooming reefs to biodiversity loss and limiting income and food security.
Source: Nature Communications