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Friends of Animals Helps Win Endangered Species Protections for 6 Shark Species

May 17, 2017 | Endangered Species / Wildlife Law Program / sharks

Endangered Species Day is Friday and Friends of Animals is celebrating early with some good news for marine animals! While wildlife and the environment have generally been in the cross-hairs of the Trump Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service announced last week that it would finalize an Obama-era proposal to list the daggernose shark, Brazilian guitarfish, striped smoothhound shark, spiny angel shark and Argentine angel shark as endangered species, and the narrownose smoothhound shark as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Friends of Animals was part of the coalition that commented in support of the listing. 


Each of these species is at risk of extinction in the very near future. As is usually the case, the single greatest threat to these animals comes from humans.


“Fishing throughout the world is causing catastrophic loss of these animals,” said Michael Harris, FOA’s Wildlife Law Program Director. “In some cases these animals are intentionally targeted by humans, but it is often true that large numbers of sharks are killed each year as bycatch in fishermen’s gillnets. ESA protection is expected to help, but only a worldwide ban on the use of gillnets will ultimately prevent their extinction.”


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