In a new report from EDGE of Existence, it has been revealed that some of world’s most unique and unusual sharks and rays are heading for extinction. Included in that list is the largemouth sawfish, the electric ray, guitarfish and ghost sharks.
These species that have been on the plan for 250 million years, could quickly be gone in a blink due to humans. The first of its kind report featured the largemouth sawfish on the top their list as the species has seen a dramatic decline in recent years due to unsustainable fishing making it the victim of bycatch.
Sharks and rays are of extreme importance to the health of the ecoysystem as they top the food chain, ensuring a balance that is necessary for the ecosystem to thrive.
“Sharks, rays, and chimeras have been around since the age of the dinosaurs, but due to human activities, their modern relatives are facing threats all over the world,” EDGE Sharks co-ordinator, Fran Cabada, said in a statement.
“The new EDGE Sharks and Rays list gives us the opportunity to highlight the most unique sharks and rays on our planet, which are also the most endangered, so that we can target conservation efforts where [they’re] needed most.”
Species that made the list that the world is well aware of is the whale shark, which is the biggest fish in the ocean, and the basking shark, the second biggest.
Other species that are not as well known include the ornate sleeper ray, the natal shyshark which is found in South Africa waters, the bluegrass carpetshark off the coast of Eastern Australia and the very rare and small whitespotted izak.
“The EDGE Sharks and Rays list comprises some of the most interesting and unique fish we have on this planet,” Dr Matthew Gollock of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), who compile the EDGE rankings, said.
“The modern extinction of a single species from this list would cause the loss of millions of years of evolutionary history.”