Basking sharks in Irish waters put on endangered list

The formidable, but harmless, basking shark is one of 58 species on a new list of endangered fish in Irish waters.

Basking sharks in Irish waters put on endangered list

Basking sharks are among the biggest fish in the North Atlantic and are the second-biggest fish in the world, after the whale shark.

Once hunted by communities along the west coast for their liver oil, they are no longer fished commercially. However, some are removed from the seas accidentally, as bycatch. Habitat destruction is also a threat.

The latest Red List of Marine Life also classed the porbeagle shark and angel shark, which are also in Irish waters, as critically endangered.

The leafscale gulper shark is endangered. The Portuguese dogfish and the common, flapper, and white skates are critically endangered.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) examined sharks, rays, skaters, and chimaeras.

“These are some of the latest-maturing and slowest reproducing of all vertebrates, resulting in very low population growth rates, with little capacity to recover from overfishing and other threats, such as pollution or habitat destruction. Concerns have been raised worldwide about the risk of some sharks going extinct, “ it said.

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