Sharks are the most diverse group of animals on Earth. Today, about 440 species have been identified and scientists estimate there may be as many as 500 or more yet to discover. But sadly, more than one-third of all shark and ray species are now threatened with extinction due to overfishing, habitat loss from coastal development and pollution, bycatch in fisheries targeting other fish species, deliberate killing for their fins (shark fin soup), or a combination of these factors. In fact some populations have declined more than 90% since 1950! The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List identifies those sharks that face the most severe threats to their survival as critically endangered (CR), endangered (EN) or vulnerable (VU). If we want these amazing creatures to continue living in our oceans, we have to do some serious work saving them. Here is a list of the 25 most endangered sharks according to the IUCN Shark Specialist Group:
Table of Contents
Great Hammerhead – Critically Endangered
Great Hammerhead is an attractive spawning shark species with a very large fin and many different colored fins. Overfishing with good hammerheads for its fins has cause global populations to plummet as high as 51% over the last 75. The IUCN has marked the species as critically endangered, but it has not actively promoted conservation efforts. Great Hammerhead is also occasionally caught recreationally by large game fishers and sometimes has accidental catches during the catch season. The species is found in tropical inland waters around the world between 40 degrees north and 37 degrees south. Its skin is also worn as leather, and its liver is used for Shark liver oil.
Angelshark – Critically Endangered
Angelshark (Squatina squatina) was discovered around 1100 B.C. in Western Europe and southern Europe. Globally angel shark populations have decreased about 90-100% during the past 40 years. The species is reported extinct in the northern Mediterranean Sea and the northern North Sea, two areas once hosting densely populated angel sharks. The IUCN has listed the angel shark as critically threatened, but efforts have now been made to preserve the species. In 2008 the U.K. government illegalized angel sharks in waters around England and Wales and made catching them in the Mediterranean Sea illegal in 2011.
Oceanic Whitetip Shark – Critically Endangered
It is found in the northern sea waters and the northern Atlantic ocean at latitudes up to 53 degrees. This species is an aquatic swathe. The high demand for a species’ skin, meat, and fin has led to under fishing, resulting in a sharp decline in population numbers. The IUCN has classified the shark as highly endangered, but efforts were made to conserve the species. In 2013, the species was included in Appendix II of the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species, and in 2018, it was in Annex 1 of the agreement on Migratory Species.
The Pondicherry shark lives on the Indian Ocean, stretching from the Gulf of Oman to the coastal waters of New Guinea. This unique shark is about 3.3 feet (1 m) long with a pointed snout and blacktip fins. The fishery is becoming critically endangered because its fishing is unregulated and extensive in its region. According to the international union for conservation of nature, the species is considered critically endangered, and conservation work must be made very closely tied to current populations. The shark was last seen in 1979 and maybe already extinct. It also aims at increasing its stockpile in southern Africa and extending it in its southern regions.
Dusky Shark – Endangered
The Dusky Shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) is appreciated for its fin, meat skin, and liver. Overfishing combined with species’ low reproductive rates has decimated global populations. Population in the United States has fallen from 32% in the past 30 years, estimated at 8 / 10 million. It is listed as endangered by the IUCN, but a few attempts are to help conserve the species. It is currently illegal to catch dusky sharks in the United States. However, some sport fishermen still see it. The Australian government introduced measures that targeted species conservation, and the dunehua was introduced into Appendix II of CMS.
Zebra Shark – Endangered
The zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum) is found in the oceanic waters of the Indo-Pacific region of the planet. According to the IUCN, its species are worldwide endangered, although the zebra shark is more susceptible to extinction in certain areas than most. The Malaysian authorities protected the species through the Malaysian Fisheries Act to save the species. Many areas off the coast of Australia that are home to this species are also covered marine areas that include Moreton Bay Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The species declined in a world population of an estimated 50% in the last 50 years.
Shortfin Mako Shark – Endangered
Shortfin makos are some the fastest sharks in the world; it has made them popular catches for big fish, which hunt them for sport. The IUCN labeled Akako as an endangered shark species. In 2008, species were added to Appendix II of CMS, but few efforts were taken primarily to preserve the species. The Mediterranean Sea population has been declining as much as 91.9 percent since the 1800s, according to the International Union For Conservation of Mammoths (ICM).
Natal Shysharks have a distinctive H-shaped skin pattern. Its height in adult life should exceed 20 inches ( 50cm). The greatest threat to shark populations is habitat degradation caused by industrial and tourist development near Durban in South Africa, the most destructive impact on human life. The shark possesses a small territorial range along the coastal waters of South Africa and has a lifespan of around 20 inches at maturity. It is a small shark that lives in a small.
The daggernose shark is an oversized fish with a long pointed nose and large claw and pectoral fins. The fish matures to 4.9 ft (1.5m). ICUN has listed it as critically endangered and recommended conservation efforts to South American governments. During the current decade, shark populations have declined 90% due to commercial fishing for its meat and bycatch. ICUN listed it as a critically endangered shark species as an example of Conservation Plans.
The Ganges Shark is a true river shark that lives in the freshwater of the Brahmaputra River and Ganges rivers in India. It is a small brown shark with a blunt nose and grows to about 6.8 feet (180.6 m). It is threatened as well by pollution. Barriers and barrages are in addition to. Since being critically endangered under the international human rights watch, IUCN India has banned the fishing of Ganges sharks.
Smooth back Angel Shark
Smooth back Angel Shark is a species of Angel Shark known for its characteristic smoothly raked back. It lives along the Mediterranean Coast and the Atlantic coast in Southern Europe and Northwestern Africa. The species listed by ICUN has been described as critically endangered. It is currently protected throughout the Canary Islands. It was almost wiped out in the sea when the overfishing threatened to kill it. The shark protects the ICUN.
Northern River Shark
The northern river sharks inhabit the coastal areas along with Australia and New Guinea. It measures in size 9.4 feet in height and is a stocky body with a high back. ICUN believes that only a few dozen Northern River Sharks remain threatened. It has been found in the damp water along with the mouth of rivers on the Australian coast.
Sawback Angelshark – Critically Endangered
The Sawback angels have been observed throughout the Mediterranean Sea and along the coasts of West Africa and Southwestern Europe. The species are named by a single cluster of white thorns which extend between its head and tail. The areas they live in are now subject to intense dry fishing – and thus are vulnerable from birth on out to bycatch. Industrial and artisanal fishing pressures are severe and often unregulated in this region. It appears as though this pressure will continue at the current levels or rise in the future. Because of this, they are classed as C.E., depending on observed and suspected past declines and suspected future declines. It is now extremely rare throughout the rest of its range.
Striped Smooth-hound – Critically Endangered
The Striped Smoothhound is a breed of Houndshark found in parts of the Brazilian and Argentina coastlands. They are known for their distinctive striped feet and grow to nearly five feet tall. In South Brazil, fishing is intense in the habitat of these demersal sharks. Between 1994 and 1999, the species fell a huge 96% due to their nursing grounds being in a popular fishery area. This fishing operation killed so many mamas and hens from that population that we now know them as endangered animals on the endangered species list. There is already a serious concern for the continuing decline in the absence of conservation and enforceable management measures. That’s why the species is on the red list.
Pondicherry Shark – Critically Endangered
The Pondicherry Shark is considered an IUCN endangered species. This species is known to live within the Indian Ocean, especially in marine waters from the Gulf of Oman to the Coast of New Guinea. This rare Indo-West Pacific rare species hasn’t been witnessed on earth since 1979 and might be extinct. The shark can grow to 3.3 feet long and is easily identifiable from its pointed nose and black-capped fin bones. They are critical because of the unregulated and heavily regulated fishing industry in the area. The IucN has decided to discover current populations a high-priority conservation action.
Daggernose Shark – Critically Endangered
The Daggernose is a small species with long pointed noses, large pectoral fins and can reach 4.9 feet. In the last ten years, the population reduced by 90% due to commercial fishing, which aims to get meat, and is also due to bycatch, where many individuals are trapped incidentally in floating gill. The IUCN believes urgent measures in conservation and management are necessary to keep the species’ biodiversity. So if you wanted to figure out the most endangered shark in the world, this is probably the highest place on the list. It is an endangered species.
Ganges shark – Critically Endangered
The Ganges shark is a river shark in the freshwater waters of the Ganges, Hooghly, and Brahmaputra rivers in India. They are smaller and brown with a blunt nose. They can reach up to six feet tall. According to the IUCN list, they appear restricted to a highly narrow band of habitat, which continues to be heavily affected by natural phenomena. India’s government banned the fishing of sharks in the river following overfishing and habitat degradation of pollutants (Compagno 1997) after they were recorded in 1997.
Basking shark – Endangered
At this point, it remains Endangered on IUCN’s Red List. The slow-moving and generally harmless type comes from basking in shallow temperate areas where they like to feed. They are large-sized filter-feeding coldwater pelagic shark types and are migratory and widely distributed. It is only regularly observed on some favored beaches and likely always abundant due to the decreasing shark population. Aphrodisiacs are the most valuable in China, and bone is used in traditional Chinese medicine in countries like China and aphrodisiacs for treatment. These types of sharks are legally protected in some territorial waters, although it is known that they have extremely precarious populations.
Whale shark – Endangered
Whale sharks can live to 100 years old or up to 50 meters in length. Many commercial fishing operations closed between the 90s and 2000s, but most of them do remain valuable. Because of their large size, they are often severely injured and often die at sea from ship strikes. In a crowded environment with minimal habitats, the hickory harrier could continue taming. The whale shark is threatened as per the IUCN Red List. It is considered the most endangered species in the world and is considered to be endangered. The shark combines the filter feed and sieve plankton using their gills and is fortifying its food sources. They are often victims of bycatch in highly populated areas.
Scalloped Hammerhead – Endangered
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark currently is an IUCN red list critically endangered species. Defined by its unusually hammer-shaped head, the scalloped head is sometimes found in schools of up 100. Demography has been declining for 30 years of 95%. Hammer head’s fins are much greater in value because of their large fins than other species. Both increased targeting for their top-quality fins and rising offshore and inshore fishing competition remains largely unregulated. The species has been considered critical throughout the world for various reasons. All three species have seen significant declines in the last 30 years mainly because of their popularity as many fins.
Porbeagle shark – Vulnerable
Sharks are invulnerable to the sea environment, according to the IUCN. They are broadly wide-ranging coastlines and oceans. Due to its low reproductive capacity and high commercial value of older mature and immature generations, they are at extreme overuse and population depletion risks. Although classified as globally restricted, it is crucial in the North Atlantic Ocean. There have been a lot of conservative efforts for this species which have been successful in ensuring the continuation of the species. Still, the population hasn’t yet returned for it in the North Atlantic. Sport fishers and commercial anglers highly respect it as it is known for its famous meat.
Sand Tiger Shark – Vulnerable
The Sand Tiger Sharks are currently endangered on the IUCN’s Red List. Commercial fishing has severely reduced the population in several areas of the island. The sand tigers are protected in both the USA AND Australia. They have a pointed nose – which can reach 10.6ft when mature. Only producing two large pups per litter, the annual rates of population increase are very low – greatly reducing its ability to sustain fishing pressure, putting them into the percentages of sharks at risk. The shark species have protected themselves by law in the U.S. and Australia, South Africa, and Japan. The species is found along the sandy coastline.
Great white shark – Vulnerable
The Great White Shark is protected from disease, according to the IUCN Red List. The species was reported to be a fierce man-eater when humans were not their preferred prey. The decline in the shark population is already existing. It faces threats of being targeted commercially, including sports fishing for its jaws and the shark fins, game record, and aquarium fish. They are also victims of protective strand mesh and media propaganda campaigns to kill the species after a biting incident and degradation of coastal habitats, which are used as pupping and breeding ground which all means.
Dusky shark – Vulnerable
The Dusky Shark is currently classified as a vulnerable species by IUCN Redlist in the World Conservation Network. These are large, wide-ranging coastal and pelagic warm water species. It is in the slowest-growing and most adapted species bearing the smallest litter after a long gestation period. They carry a slim body and can travel through the water effortlessly. Strangely, their eyes resemble a protective third eyelid. It could take between 400 and 100 years to restore the country’s sea-killing population. Their fins are extremely important and often used for shark fish soup.
Brown Shyshark – Vulnerable
They live on lesser than 1,000 km of coastline off South Africa’s shore in the Western Atlantic Ocean. They are a very small, stocky fish with a wide head and very large nostrils and are very site-specific with a fragmented population. A continued decline in the quality of their inland habitats is suspected as a result of intensive human usage, thereby warranting an -IUCN Red list. It is often caught by rock and surf anglers that have taken it as an unused bycatch in recreational fishing activities and are generally considered by the fishermen to be a nuisance.