10 Types of Critically Endangered Sharks

Sharks are among the most fascinating marine animals and are essential to the global preservation of healthy marine ecosystems. But because of a number of human actions, such as overfishing, climate change, and habitat degradation, many shark species are now in grave risk.

There are now 37 shark species that are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Of course, as populations are observed and new data becomes available, this is susceptible to change.

We’ll examine 10 severely endangered shark species today. It’s vital to keep in mind that there are many more critically endangered shark species that require immediate conservation action. This list represents just a small portion of them.

10 Shark Species in Critical Need of Protection

1. Angel Shark

The Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans are home to the angel shark, a species of fish. Their name comes from the angel-like shape of these interesting insects, which have a flattened appearance.

Unfortunately, angel sharks are today regarded as severely endangered, along with many other shark species. Overfishing, habitat degradation, and other human activities that have affected their populations are the main causes of this.

2. Basking Shark

One type of shark that can be found in every ocean on the planet is the basking shark. The Basking Shark has a broad, gray body that is paler below and darker on top. A filter-feeding fish with a conical snout, five gill slits, and a triangular dorsal fin, it frequently cruises close to the surface while having its mouth open. Despite having tiny teeth, it is immediately recognizable due to its distinctive appearance. They are among the largest fish species in the world and are distinguished by their slow swimming and filter feeding habits.

Many areas, notably the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean, currently classify these amazing species as vulnerable or endangered.

3. Dusky Shark

Large sharks of the Dusky variety can be found all over the world in warm, temperate environments. It is a huge, stocky shark with a long, blunt snout and a dorsal fin that is rounded and has a free rear tip. It usually has a white or lighter underbelly and a grey or bronze upper body. Its second dorsal fin and anal fin are located close to the end of its body, and it has five gill slits. The Dusky Shark is not as aggressive as some other shark species, but it is known to have enormous, sharp teeth and is thought to be potentially threatening to people.

As a result of overfishing, habitat degradation, and other human activities that have an impact on their populations, these sharks are today regarded as critically endangered. Particularly in regions like the Western Atlantic and Mediterranean, where their populations have sharply decreased in recent years, these sharks are widely hunted for their meat and fins.

4. Great Hammerhead Shark

The largest hammerhead shark species, known scientifically as Sphyrna mokarran, is present in tropical and warm temperate waters all around the world. They feature a unique, laterally enlarged, flattened hammer-shaped head. Their upper body is an olive-green or grayish-brown color, while their belly is white. They feature triangular, serrated teeth, a tall, curved first dorsal fin, and pointed pectoral fins.

Sadly, overfishing for their meat, fins, and other items, particularly in Southeast Asian markets, has led to the critically endangered status of these amazing sharks. Their populations are also threatened by pollution, climate change, and habitat destruction.

5. Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Coastal Ocean Whitetip Large pelagic sharks like the shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) are common in open ocean environments, especially in tropical and warm waters. They are a stocky type of shark with long, broad pectoral fins that resemble paddles and a massive, rounded first dorsal fin. Their ventral side is typically white, occasionally with a yellow tinge, while their dorsal side is often dark grey or blue, occasionally with a bronze hue. They can focus on prey in dim light thanks to their huge eyes that are placed toward the front of their heads. They get their name from the striking white pigmentation on the tips of their fins.

Unfortunately, overfishing, particularly for their fins, which are highly prized in Asian markets for shark fin soup, has led to the present classification of these amazing sharks as severely endangered. Further dangers to their populations include habitat destruction and bycatch in commercial fishing.

6. Sawfish

A particular kind of ray known as the sawfish shark is distinguished by its long, flattened snout that is lined with sharp teeth that can be employed for hunting. Sawfish typically live in estuaries and shallow coastal waters, where they eat different kinds of fish, crabs, and mollusks. Unfortunately, overfishing, habitat degradation, and unintentional capture in fishing gear are all contributing to sawfish numbers dwindling globally.

All five species of sawfish are categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as either Endangered or Critically Endangered. For instance, the IUCN lists the smalltooth sawfish as one of the most severely endangered shark species in the world. Sawfish have exceptionally long, distinctive snouts that make them simple to find and catch, making them particularly sensitive to exploitation.

7. Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

A hammerhead shark species known as the scalloped hammerhead shark got its name from the way its head looked. It has a unique, broad hammer-like shape, and the head is gray, brown, or bronze in color with a white underside for countershading. Their dorsal fin is tall and longer than their pectoral fins, and they can reach lengths of 10 to 14 feet. They can be distinguished from other hammerhead sharks by the distinctive indentation on their horizontally extended head. They frequently form schools during the day and are typically found in warm coastal waters.

Scalloped Hammerheads are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main cause of this is excessive fishing, especially for their fins, which are highly prized in Asian markets and used to make shark fin soup. Hammerhead sharks are frequently caught as bycatch in a number of fisheries in addition to being explicitly targeted. This applies to people who pursue swordfish and tuna. Their decline is also influenced by pollution and the lack of coastal habitat.

8. Smooth Hammerhead Shark

The Smooth Hammerhead Shark is a species of shark that normally has a sleek, slightly rounded body that is gray or brown in color. Their smooth, flattened head, which lacks the distinctive cephalofoil of other hammerhead species, makes them easily identifiable.

Unfortunately, overfishing, bycatch, habitat loss, and degradation have led to the severely endangered status of the smooth hammerhead shark. They are considered a species in severely endangered status by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This species’ population has significantly decreased as a result of hunting for its meat, fins, and liver oil.

9. Whale Shark

The largest known fish species in the world, the whale shark is a slow-moving carpet shark that feeds on filters. It can get as big as 40 feet long and 20 tons heavy. Despite their size, they eat tiny fish and plankton for food.

Unfortunately, overfishing, bycatch, and habitat destruction have led to the highly endangered status of these exquisite creatures. They get caught up in fishing gear and are hunted for their meat, fins, and oil.

10. White Shark

The White Shark, commonly referred to as the Great White Shark, is a sizable predatory shark with a maximum length of 20 feet. They stand out due to their unusual shape, which includes a prominent dorsal fin and a pointed snout. White sharks are regarded as a vulnerable species and are subject to numerous hazards. They frequently wind up being caught accidentally during commercial fishing operations. Additionally, they are pursued for their teeth, jaws, and fins.

Their populations are also impacted by climate change, prey population decreases, and habitat destruction and degradation. Through actions like fishing restrictions and protected areas, conservation efforts are being made to assist safeguard and restore their populations.

As a result,

Shark conservation initiatives are essential to safeguarding these amazing species and maintaining robust ocean ecosystems. Sharks are critically endangered. Many of these species can go extinct soon if action is not taken right away. We must act to safeguard these amazing creatures and maintain the critical function they provide in our oceans.

We can contribute to the protection of these amazing animals in a variety of ways. To conserve sharks and their habitats, for instance, there are various organizations. You can assist these groups by giving money, joining, or volunteering.

Additionally significant concerns to shark populations include ocean acidification and climate change. You may contribute to the fight against these dangers by lowering your carbon footprint through acts like using renewable energy, traveling less, and eating a more plant-based diet.

Additionally, the worldwide shark population is seriously threatened by the practice of shark finning. Avoiding shark items like shark fin soup will assist. To stop the sale and trading of shark fins, you can also push for stricter laws and rules. Choose sustainably caught or farmed options when buying seafood, and stay away from items that encourage overfishing.

We can all help to safeguard these amazing animals and the oceans they live in by taking these steps and raising awareness about the significance of shark conservation.