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Overfishing poses serious risks for shark populations in Mediterranean and Black Seas

A U.N. agency says shark populations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea "have dropped dramatically" over the past two centuries because of overfishing.

A study released Thursday by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization says sharks in the Mediterranean have declined by more than 97 percent over the past 200 years and "risk extinction if current fishing pressure continues."

In the Black Sea, catches of the main shark species have declined by about half.

The report said there is a rapidly increasing demand for shark fins, meat and cartilage and that the loss has serious implications for the entire marine ecosystem.