Another red list brings warnings for Ireland's marine life

The warnings that one species or another has reached a critically low population no longer provoke a commensurate response.
Another red list brings warnings for Ireland's marine life

We have become almost blasé about the by-now routine announcements that one group of animals or plants, birds or fish faces an uncertain future unless we intervene in a far more energetic and positive way to protect them.

The latest list, from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) details the precarious position of animals that have survived for something around 420 million years but are now, on our watch, in jeopardy.

A Red List of sharks, rays and their relatives (skates and chimaeras) in Irish waters has just been published. These are among the latest-maturing and slowest-reproducing of all vertebrates, which means they have limited capacity to recover from overfishing, pollution or habitat destruction.

These are the issues in play in virtually every story of decline facing animal or plant life. As our population soars and makes ever-greater demands on this finite planet, we must do a lot more to protect the other species that share this planet with us.

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