IAS प्रिलिम्स ऑनलाइन कोर्स (Pendrive)
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Biodiversity & Environment

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.
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