Human interference is a threat for marine life deep in the seas too. A study published in the international scientific journal, ‘Science’, pointed out that increased fishing is threatening the survival of deep-sea sharks and stingray species. Such extensive deep-sea fishing is carried out in many countries including India.

Deep seas are defined as areas with a depth of more than 200 meters. The deep sea was thought to be a safe haven for marine life as there was little human intervention. But this perception is not correct, according to a study prepared by researchers from different countries by evaluating the statistics of 521 shark and stingray species found only in deep sea.

The IUCN red list of endangered species includes 120 deep-sea shark and stingray species. Gulper sharks have now become unavailable, although no single species has become extinct. The number of threatened species has more than doubled since the assessment in 2014.

45 deep sea shark species have been identified in India. There are eight deep sea sharks like dog shark, bramble shark and gulper sharks are found on the Kerala coast, Dr K.K Bineesh, a member of the research team and a scientist of the Zoological Survey of India Chennai Centre said.

Sharks are mostly hunted for their liver oil. Liver oil is an important ingredient in many cosmetic products and medicines. The study calls for action to protect sharks by restricting deep-sea fishing and fish oil trade.