Angel shark considered endangered Published: 28 February, 2008
THE Angel Shark has been awarded protection in English waters under the Wildlife & Countryside Act.
In December 2006 the Angel Shark was declared extinct in the North Sea and is listed as “critically endangered.” From April this year it will become illegal to target, kill, or injure an Angel shark within six nautical miles of the English coast. This issue has seen a “long hard fought battle” by the Shark Trust and other similar bodies, and the Trust says it is now delighted that a start has been made to give this “beautiful creature” the protection it so desperately needs.
A spokesman for the Shark Trust commented: The listing of the Angel shark is long overdue and we hope it is not too late to see some recovery of this species in our waters. Four species of large bodied skate were also proposed and these have not been accepted for protection despite also being critically endangered – we will be seeking a better explanation of why they have failed at this stage. We are also seeking clarification to this decision with regard to Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish waters.”
Recent assessments by the IUCN Shark Specialist Group rated the sharks of the North East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea with the worst conservation status of all assessed regions with over 30% of the shark species in a threat category. The Shark Trust says it believes that it is more essential than ever that concrete action is taken to prevent more species going locally extinct.
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