IUCN Red List now names them as “Endangered”
The July 2016 update to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation
of Nature) Red List now classifies the whale shark and winghead shark
In the last 75 years, the population of whale sharks (Rhincodon typus),
the largest fish on earth, has more than halved as they continue to be
threatened by fishing and ship propellers.
In India, the Philippines and Taiwan, conservation efforts have
succeeded in ending the large-scale fishing of whale sharks. However,
they continue to be hunted in other places, including southern China
Whale sharks also end up as by-catch in nets meant for tuna,
as the two species are often found together.
For the winghead shark (Eusphyra blochii), a species of hammerhead
shark, unregulated fishing is its undoing. Their unique body shape has
made them highly vulnerable to being entangled in fishing hets.
According to the IUCN, it is difficult to determine how many hammerhead
sharks still exist in the wild. However, based on recent surveys of the
fish markets in Indonesia, there is cause for concern: Out of the
approximately 20,000 sharks being sold there, only one winghead shark
could be found.
It is expected that a similar situation would be found
in other Asian countries where coastal fishing activities are intensive
and generally unregulated.
See here for more information
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