How many Shark Species are there?
How many shark species are there?
The number of shark species is somewhat uncertain, but it is conservatively estimated at about 440. Therefore, there may actually be over 500 species of sharks in the ocean.
This is because there are still undiscovered shark species, and many shark species haven’t been thoroughly studied. There are new sharks discovered each year, and, likely, there are still many undiscovered sharks throughout the world’s oceans.
Unfortunately, some species appear common today that may actually go extinct within our lifetimes.
This is because the demand for shark fins, meat, and teeth grows every year. As a result, fishers worldwide are catching sharks faster than they can reproduce. Unfortunately, this has caused many of these shark species to be threatened with extinction.
Although it’s hard to get exact numbers on how many sharks are being caught each year, worldwide, an estimated 100 million sharks are killed per year just for their fins [about 65 million in Asia alone].
This is a startling number and helps explain why there are so many different shark species on the brink of extinction.
Sharks are also threatened with extinction because they are often caught as bycatch in fisheries where fishing nets are set out to catch other types of fish. To reduce this threat, governments need to stop illegal poaching and take steps towards banning finning altogether. Only then can we hope that these fantastic creatures will survive into the future.
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