Tag: sharks

Functional extinction 101

A recent report suggested that sharks – hunted in such vast numbers that more than 50 percent of shark and ray species that have been fully assessed by the IUCN are Threatened or Near Threatened with extinction – are now ‘functionally extinct’ at 20% of the world’s coral reefs. But what does that mean? Are there now no sharks at one-fifth of the world’s coral reefs? And why might that matter anyway? ‘Functional extinction’ may be a term that is not – at the moment anyway – widely-known, but with a sixth mass extinction (humanity’s ‘war on wildlife’) seemingly imminent, it’s likely we’ll be hearing more and more about species that are considered to be ‘functionally extinct’.

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Podcast: Sandy Stewart | Sharkwater Extinction and Rob Stewart’s Legacy

After witnessing the indiscriminate killing of sharks within marine reserves, Canadian conservationist, photographer, and film documentary maker Rob Stewart became determined to change public attitudes towards one of the planet’s most maligned and misunderstood animals. In 2006 he premiered the groundbreaking ‘Sharkwater‘ which explored the beauty of sharks and put the devastating issue of shark finning on the world stage. Tragically the visionary who inspired a whole generation of conservationists drowned off the Florida Keys in January 2017. In December 2018, Rob’s mother Sandy was in London for a private screening of ‘Sharkwater: Extinction’ where Charlie Moores spoke with her.

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