Coral Sea sharks could be wiped out

sharksmay22

Conservation groups in Australia warn that shark populations in the Coral Sea could be wiped out if the area isn’t protected. The World Wildlife Fund has released a new report saying that shark populations are vulnerable to over-fishing and other threats. The study called on the Australian Government to declare the Coral Sea a Marine Protected Area. Meanwhile, commercial fishing operators have signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing on the need to protect the marine area.

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Story Transcript

VOICEOVER: Conservation groups in Australia warn that shark populations in the Coral Sea could be wiped out if the area is not protected. The World Wildlife Fund has released a new report saying that while shark populations in the area are healthy, they’re vulnerable to overfishing and other threats. The Coral Sea Biodiversity Review said the region is one of the last marine wilderness areas on the planet. According to the WWF, coral reefs globally are vanishing at a rate five times faster than the world’s rain forest. The group called on the Australian government to declare the Coral Sea a marine protected area.

RICHARD LECK, MARINE AND COASTAL POLICY MANAGER, WWF: Currently the Coral Sea is virtually unprotected. It has no marine protected areas anywhere in the region. And so the first step is to embark on putting a marine protected area over the entire Coral Sea.

VOICEOVER: The report says sharks in the Coral Sea are particularly vulnerable because they live in close association with individual reefs. Commercial fishing operators have signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing on the need to protect certain areas important for tourism, conservation, and research.

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