Should we protect sharks and rays?

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Sharks and rays represent one of the oldest and most diverse group of animals on earth. These cartilaginous fish play important ecological, cultural, and economic roles in our oceans and coastal communities. This crisis represents a growing threat to the health and well-being of the oceans and the billions of people that rely on it for food and employment. 

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Turning the tide for threatened sharks and rays around the world

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The Shark Conservation Fund (SCF), formerly the Global Partnership for Sharks and Rays, is a philanthropic collaboration focused on halting the overexploitation of the world’s sharks and rays, preventing extinctions, reversing declines and restoring populations.  The SCF is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Inc.

Sharks and rays represent one of the oldest and most diverse group of animals on earth. These cartilaginous fish play important ecological, cultural, and economic roles in our oceans and coastal communities. Many shark and ray species are threatened with extinction because of human demand for their fins, meat, leather, liver, and gills. This crisis represents a growing threat to the health and well-being of the oceans and the billions of people that rely on it for food and employment. 

Critical facts: 

  • An estimated 249 species, or roughly one quarter, of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction.
  • Sharks and rays are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation because they are long-lived, slow to reach reproductive age, and produce few young.
  • An estimated 100 million sharks are killed annually for their fins, livers, meat, and gills.