43 species are in danger of dying out in the Mediterranean over the next few years, according to a report released today by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Commercial species like Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Dusky Grouper (Epinephelus marginatus), Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) or Hake (Merluccius merluccius) are considered threatened or Near Threatened with extinction at the regional level mainly due to overfishing.
Pollution and habitat degradation are other important threats in this region.
“The Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic population of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is of particular concern. There has been an estimated 50% decline in this species’ reproduction potential over the past 40 years due to intensive overfishing,” says Kent Carpenter, IUCN Global Marine Species Assessment Coordinator, in a press release.
The IUCN study emphasizes the need to reinforce fishing regulations, create new marine reserves, reduce pollution and review fishing quotas, in particular the number of captures allowed for threatened species.
Almost one-third (151 species) of the Mediterranean marine fishes were listed as Data Deficient, meaning that there were not enough data available for these species to estimate their risk of extinction.
Download the report: Overview of the conservation status of the marine fishes of the Mediterranean Sea report (pdf)
Read the IUCN pressrelease