You can swim but you can't hide: the global status and conservation of oceanic pelagic sharks and rays

Authors

  • Nicholas K. Dulvy,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Laboratory, Lowestoft, NR33 0HT, UK and Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S5, Canada
    • Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S5, Canada
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Julia K. Baum,

    1. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0202, USA
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Shelley Clarke,

    1. Division of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus, Manor House, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7PY, UK
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Leonard J. V. Compagno,

    1. Shark Research Center, Iziko — South African Museum, P.O. Box 61, Cape Town, 8000 South Africa
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Enric Cortés,

    1. NOAA Fisheries Service, Panama City Laboratory, Panama City, FL 32408, USA
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  • Andrés Domingo,

    1. Dirección Nacional de Recursos Acuáticos, Recursos Pelágicos, Constituyente 1497, CP 11200, Montevideo, Uruguay
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Sonja Fordham,

    1. Ocean Conservancy and Shark Alliance, c/o Oceana, Rue Montoyer, 39 1000 Brussels, Belgium
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  • Sarah Fowler,

    1. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, Naturebureau International, 36 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, RG14 5SJ, UK
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Malcolm P. Francis,

    1. National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 14901, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Claudine Gibson,

    1. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, Naturebureau International, 36 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, RG14 5SJ, UK
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Jimmy Martínez,

    1. Escuela de Pesca del Pacifico Oriental (EPESPO). Los Esteros, Avenida 102 y calle 124, P.O. Box 13053894, Manta, Ecuador
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  • John A. Musick,

    1. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062, USA
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  • Alen Soldo,

    1. Centre of Marine Studies, University of Split, Livanjska 5, 21000 Split, Croatia
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  • John D. Stevens,

    1. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, PO Box 1538, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia
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  • Sarah Valenti

    1. IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group, Naturebureau International, 36 Kingfisher Court, Hambridge Road, Newbury, RG14 5SJ, UK
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    • All authors contributed equally to this work.


Abstract

  • 1.Fishing spans all oceans and the impact on ocean predators such as sharks and rays is largely unknown. A lack of data and complicated jurisdictional issues present particular challenges for assessing and conserving high seas biodiversity. It is clear, however, that pelagic sharks and rays of the open ocean are subject to high and often unrestricted levels of mortality from bycatch and targeted fisheries for their meat and valuable fins.
  • 2.These species exhibit a wide range of life-history characteristics, but many have relatively low productivity and consequently relatively high intrinsic vulnerability to over-exploitation. The IUCN — World Conservation Union Red List criteria were used to assess the global status of 21 oceanic pelagic shark and ray species.
  • 3.Three-quarters (16) of these species are classified as Threatened or Near Threatened. Eleven species are globally threatened with higher risk of extinction: the giant devilray is Endangered, ten sharks are Vulnerable and a further five species are Near Threatened. Threat status depends on the interaction between the demographic resilience of the species and intensity of fisheries exploitation.
  • 4.4. Most threatened species, like the shortfin mako shark, have low population increase rates and suffer high fishing mortality throughout their range. Species with a lower risk of extinction have either fast, resilient life histories (e.g. pelagic stingray) or are species with slow, less resilient life histories but subject to fisheries management (e.g. salmon shark).
  • 5.5. Recommendations, including implementing and enforcing finning bans and catch limits, are made to guide effective conservation and management of these sharks and rays.

Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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