Sharks have persisted as powerful ocean predators for more than 400 million years. They survived five mass extinctions, diversifying into an amazing variety of forms and lifestyles. But this ancient lineage is now among the world’s most threatened species groups due to overexploitation in poorly regulated fisheries and the proliferation of wasteful finning practices.
Governments around the world have introduced a host of regulations aimed at reducing shark catch and finning, the latter of which typically sees valuable shark fins retained for sale while carcasses are discarded at sea. But until now, there has been no assessment of how effective these measures have been. A new, global assessment revealed that, while some regulations do work, overall, sharks are caught by coastal fisheries at increasing rates.
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