Leslie Pableo for The National

Researchers call for improved conservation to save bony fish from extinction

Almost 40 species of bony fish in the Arabian Gulf are at risk of extinction due to ­overfishing and coastal destruction, a study has revealed. Over-fishing is affecting almost half of all bony fish species in the Arabian Gulf

The study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, New York University Abu Dhabi, and other collaborators, evaluated the conservation status of 471 species of bony fish in the Gulf.

The results showed that 8.2 per cent of the species are threatened with extinction, at least double the proportion of other regions, where similar studies have been carried out.

Most of the world’s fish species are categorised into two types, based on their skeletal structure – bony fish and cartilaginous fish.

Almost all fish fall into the bony class and, in the Gulf, these include types of mullet, wrasse, grouper and butterfly fish, among others.

The research, published in Biological Conservation, revealed overfishing affects 47 per cent of bony fish, while the loss of habitat caused by coastal development affects 32 per cent.

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