What is it about?

Most fished species are not scientifically monitored and many sharks and rays are severely overfished. We analyzed trends in fishing pressure, fisheries management, and population status for all wide-ranging coastal sharks and rays that occur in the Western Atlantic Ocean. We show how management and conservation can be effective to rebuild populations of threatened species and secure a brighter future for these extraordinary, irreplaceable animals.

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Why is it important?

Our findings provide hope, but are a microcosm of the wider problem faced by sharks and rays. To achieve success in shark and ray conservation at a global scale nations must work together. Our study highlights the need for the governments to live up to their commitments and to harmonize their conservation strategies using scientific advice to enable the recovery of overfished shark and ray populations.


We want with study to show that, despite being severly overfished, It's not all doom and gloom for sharks and rays. We show some optimism and spotlight a few success stories that show fishing limits can work to reverse declines. More people care about sharks and want to protect them than ever before. Concerned citizens can help by encouraging government policy makers to prioritize shark and ray conservation and adopt catch limits that prevent overfishing. Vocal, sustained support for shark conservation from the public is not only truly meaningful; it’s essential for securing a brighter future for these remarkable animals.

Nathan Pacoureau
Simon Fraser University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Conservation successes and challenges for wide-ranging sharks and rays, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2216891120.
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