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Commercial fisheries are also having a major impact. Bycatch is the unintentional capture of a non-target species. Fisheries targeting tuna and billfish, in particular, have a high impact on sharks. Rays and skates are also under threat from unintentional capture in commercial fisheries.

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  • How are sharks affected by overfishing in the ocean?

  • Overfishing is among the greatest threats facing marine biodiversity. Many species of top ocean predators, such as billfish, tunas and sharks, are experiencing unprecedented population declines worldwide. Sharks are among the most threatened marine animals worldwide.

  • How does commercial fishing affect the marine environment?

  • Aside from deliberately catching vast numbers of fish and engaging in practices like trawling which cause damage to ocean habitats, commercial fishing accounts for vast quantities of bycatch – where non-target species of marine animals are accidentally (or sometimes intentionally) caught, then tossed dead or dying back into the oceans.

  • What kind of sharks are used for commercial fishing?

  • For commercially exploited sharks such as North Atlantic blue and shortfin makos sharks overlap was much higher, with on average 76 percent and 62 percent of their space use, respectively, overlapping with longlines each month.

  • How does fishing affect the bottom of the food chain?

  • MARINE LIFE IMBALANCE. Targeted fishing of top predators (such as billfish, sharks and tuna) eventually disrupts marine communities, causing increased abundance of smaller marine animals at the bottom of the food chain.