Whitetip Shark Nearly Extinct in Gulf of Mexico

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The population of oceanic whitetip shark, once among the world's most common tropical sharks, has plummeted by 99% since the 1950s, and the species is nearly extinct in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists reported Wednesday.

The study published in the journal Ecology Letters blamed overfishing and called for new restrictions, but federal fisheries officials said the study was flawed and further assessments were needed.

The study also found sharp drops in two other species in the gulf: the silky shark, down 90% since the 1950s, and the mako, down 79%.

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