Last summer, they were are our worst enemy; now they need a best friend. We’re talking about sharks, of course. The much-maligned beach marauders are now the subject of a lawsuit filed earlier this week against the U.S. government by environmental organizations. The National Audubon Society, Earthjustice, and the Ocean Conservancy claim the National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to prevent overfishing and rebuild coastal shark populations. The lawsuit also accuses the NMFS of caving to commercial pressure by suspending limits on catching sharks. The animals are becoming increasingly popular menu items, with the result that their numbers are falling fast. One species, the commercially popular sandbar shark, has declined by 80 percent since the 1970s.
Get Grist in your inbox