It's estimated that a quarter of the planet's roughly 1,250 shark and ray species are in danger of going extinct. This week, a group of leading international conservation organizations, including WCS, has announced a new strategy to save them.
Among the high-level assertions in their report, the experts say that rays are even more threatened and less protected than the higher profile sharks. They call for greater inclusion of rays in conservation action plans.
Their strategy also emphasizes that science-based limits on shark and ray fishing and trade are urgently needed to end overfishing and ensure sustainability.
There is also a need for more information. Nearly half of the world's shark and ray species have been classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as "Data Deficient," meaning that the available information is insufficient to assess the health of their populations.