eCite Digital Repository

Extinction risk and conservation of the world's sharks and rays


Dulvy, NK and Fowler, SL and Musick, JA and Cavanagh, RD and Kyne, PM and Harrison, LR and Carlson, JK and Davidson, LNK and Fordham, SV and Francis, MP and Pollock, CM and Simpfendorfer, CA and Burgess, GH and Carpenter, KE and Compagno, LJV and Ebert, DA and Gibson, C and Heupel, MR and Livingstone, SR and Sanciangco, JC and Stevens, JD and Valenti, S and White, WT, Extinction risk and conservation of the world's sharks and rays, eLife, 3 Article e00590. ISSN 2050-084X (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

DOI: doi:10.7554/eLife.00590.001


The rapid expansion of human activities threatens ocean-wide biodiversity. Numerous marine animal populations have declined, yet it remains unclear whether these trends are symptomatic of a chronic accumulation of global marine extinction risk. We present the first systematic analysis of threat for a globally distributed lineage of 1,041 chondrichthyan fishes-sharks, rays, and chimaeras. We estimate that one-quarter are threatened according to IUCN Red List criteria due to overfishing (targeted and incidental). Large-bodied, shallow-water species are at greatest risk and five out of the seven most threatened families are rays. Overall chondrichthyan extinction risk is substantially higher than for most other vertebrates, and only one-third of species are considered safe. Population depletion has occurred throughout the world's ice-free waters, but is particularly prevalent in the Indo-Pacific Biodiversity Triangle and Mediterranean Sea. Improved management of fisheries and trade is urgently needed to avoid extinctions and promote population recovery.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:article, body height, body size, cartilaginous fish, chimera, chondrichthyan, climate change, ecology, fishing, geographic distribution, habitat, information processing, mortality, nonhuman, phylogeny, rays, shark, species distribution, taxonomy
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:White, WT (Dr William White)
ID Code:119503
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:1119
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2017-08-02
Last Modified:2017-10-16
Downloads:130 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page