Shark Awareness Day
- 15 Jul 2019
- 2 min read
The World Wide Fund for Nature has released a report highlighting the risks to Sharks in the Mediterranean region on the occasion of Shark Awareness Day which is observed on July 14th every year.
- Theme for the year 2019 is "The sharks in crisis: a call to action for the Mediterranean."
- The risks highlighted by the report are:
- Overfishing: While some species are targeted for food, many of the sharks fished in the Mediterranean are bycatch caught up in nets set for other fish.
- Plastic pollution: The explosion of plastic pollution is endangering shark populations, either through the animals ingesting or becoming enmeshed in refuse items.
- More than half of shark and ray species in the Mediterranean were under threat, and almost a third of them have been fished to the brink of extinction.
- The report singled out Libya and Tunisia as the worst culprits, with each country’s fishery hauling in about 4,200 tonnes of sharks a year — three times that of the next biggest Mediterranean fisher, Italy.
- The IUCN Red List of endangered species counts 79 endangered shark and 120 endangered ray species.
World Wide Fund for Nature
- The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanity's footprint on the environment.
- It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
- Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
- The group's mission is "to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature".
- The Living Planet Report published every two years by WWF is based on a Living Planet Index and ecological footprint calculation.