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Nature. 2006 Jan 5;439(7072):29.

Fisheries: deep-sea fishes qualify as endangered.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Memorial University, St John's, Newfoundland A1C 5S7, Canada.


Criteria from the World Conservation Union (IUCN) have been used to classify marine fish species as endangered since 1996, but deep-sea fish have not so far been evaluated--despite their vulnerability to aggressive deepwater fishing as a result of certain life-history traits. Here we use research-survey data to show that five species of deep-sea fish have declined over a 17-year period in the Canadian waters of the northwest Atlantic to such an extent that they meet the IUCN criteria for being critically endangered. Our results indicate that urgent action is needed for the sustainable management of deep-sea fisheries.

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