Shark marine environment Sebastien Filion/Stuart Cove's/Flickr

Mort et espoir en haute mer

HALIFAX, Canada – Les requins et leurs cousines, les raies, étaient présents sur cette Terre avant les dinosaures. Ils ont survécu à la catastrophique extinction de masse qui a liquidé les Tyrannosaurus Rex et tous les autres dinosaures, ainsi qu’à l’extinction Permien-Trias marquée par la disparition de 96 pour cent des espèces marines. Même les lignées plus récentes de requins, comme celle du requin marteau, existent depuis plus de 30 millions d’années.

Et pourtant, en quelques décennies seulement, la situation est devenue telle qu’un quart de tous les requins et raies est menacé d’extinction. Nous en sommes responsables – et nous avons la responsabilité d’y remédier.

Les populations de raies et de requins ne sont pas les seules en péril. Beaucoup d’autres composants de la biodiversité marine – en particulier les coraux, les mammifères marins, les oiseaux de mer et les tortues – sont en difficulté face aux pressions exercées par l’activité humaine. Les écosystèmes marins courent en conséquence le risque de se dérégler et de devenir moins stables et moins productifs.

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