Canary Islands: Don't Let the Angel Shark Disappear

  • by: Judith B.
  • recipient: Gobierno de Canarias

The Canary Islands have already lost the rarest seal in the world – the Mediterranean monk seal – and now they are on the verge of losing one of the rarest sharks.

The reclusive angel shark appeared on the International Union Conservation of Nature’s recent list of the 100 most threatened species in the world. One of the shark’s last remaining haunts is the seas around the Canary Islands, whose government could determine whether the species survives or disappears altogether.

The angel shark is under threat from unsustainable fishing methods, which along with pollution and the degradation of coastal habitat have pushed the species to the edge of extinction. Destructive fishing methods threaten the entire ocean ecosystem, and the industries which depend on it, as well as the survival of this species.

Ask the government of the Canaries to take action to save the angel shark and other threatened marine wildlife before it is too late.

We the undersigned ask that you take action on unsustainable fishing methods, especially large-scale bottom trawling, which threaten the survival of the critically endangered angel shark (Squatina squatina), among many other species.

The Canary Islands are in a unique position to save this species and take the lead in ocean conservation. Unsustainable fishing methods are by definition of very short term value. To preserve the long term future of the oceans, and all the industries and people that directly or indirectly rely upon them, we ask that you take the long-term view and put into action a realistic ocean conservation plan.

As well as saving the angel shark, putting an end to destructive fishing methods preserves the fishing industry for the future.  An economy that depends so much on tourism also has a vested interest in preserving its marine wildlife for its own sake.

Thank you for your attention

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