Global shark and ray population crashed more than 70% in past 50 years – study

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Increase in fishing since the 1970s has ravaged abundance of sharks and rays in oceans

The global population of sharks and rays has crashed by more than 70% in the past 50 years, researchers have determined for the first time, with massive ongoing losses pushing many species towards extinction.

A huge increase in fishing since 1970 has ravaged the abundance of sharks and rays in our oceans, with previously widespread species such as hammerhead sharks now facing the threat of being wiped out, the study found. Half of the world’s 31 oceanic shark species are now listed as either endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The giant manta ray is also endangered.

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