Habitat degradation, pollution and climate change
Oceans are experiencing severe degradation that climate change is worsening. The extra heat and acidity due to the absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans severely impacts the life cycles of marine fauna and flora, including sharks.
A high proportion of shark species live along the coast and they are threatened by human activity. Oil spills, pollution, chemical waste, mining, aquaculture, trawling fishing nets, destruction of areas such as mangroves, reefs, estuaries and sea mounts are contributing to the loss of habitat sharks are experiencing.
Coastal and estuarine areas were considered as a haven by a number of shark species to feed, give birth, mate and grow. This habitat loss is particularly worrisome regarding pups and juvenile sharks as their “nurseries” become scarce. Shallow waters were the safest place for shark pups and their degradation is a major concern for the survival of the species, already highly endangered by overfishing.