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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Group says almost 30 percent of species on watch list face extinction

An international conservation organization announced on Saturday that nearly 30 percent of species they assessed are facing the threat of extinction.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provided an update to their “Red List of Threatened Species” in Marseille, France, on Saturday. The agency noted that their survival watchlist now includes 138,374 species, of which over 38,500 have been moved to the “red list.”

The red list designation means that the species are under threat of extinction.

The group found that some species appeared to show signs of recovery, including four commercially fished tuna species. The IUCN noted that efforts toward fighting illegal fishing and improved sustainable fishing quotas helped downgrade these species from threatened or endangered categories.

“Today’s IUCN Red List update is a powerful sign that, despite increasing pressures on our oceans, species can recover if states truly commit to sustainable practices,” Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General, said in a statement.

Still, the conservation group noted that some species were still not faring well. The IUCN noted that 37 percent of reassessed shark and ray species were now facing threats of extinction, noting that overfishing had threatened all of them.

The shark and ray species also face challenges from climate change and the loss and degradation of habitat.

The IUCN also noted that the depletion of tuna stocks was another critical issue, including the overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean. 

“These Red List assessments are proof that sustainable fisheries approaches work, with enormous long-term benefits for livelihoods and biodiversity. We need to continue enforcing sustainable fishing quotas and cracking down on illegal fishing,” Bruce B. Collette, Chair of the IUCN SSC Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group, said in a statement. 


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