Most Rhino Rays (Sawfishes, Wedgefishes, Giant Guitarfishes, Guitarfishes, Banjo Rays) Are Threatened With Extinction

Peter M. Kyne, Rima W Jabado

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Rhino rays comprise 64 species of shark-like rays from five families. Over two-thirds (69%) are threatened with extinction with 41% Critically Endangered (these face an extremely high risk of extinction). All sawfishes and giant guitarfishes, 90% of wedgefishes, 59% of guitarfishes, and 38% of banjo rays are threatened. The major driver of endangerment is overexploitation either through targeted fishing or bycatch. Considering the continuing high levels of exploitation, the growing demand for their fins, and pressure on coastal habitats from human activities, the situation for these species is alarming in most areas of the world. Hotspots of threat (high levels of fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation) include West Africa, the Northern Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, and the Eastern Central Pacific. These areas support the majority of threatened rhino rays. Local, regional, and global efforts are required to restore and secure rhino rays. Actions need to be taken immediately and governments need to ensure that management measures are properly implemented to enable successful recovery of populations. Species protections for the most imperiled species and the effective enforcement of existing international trade regulations for sawfishes, wedgefishes, and giant guitarfishes are critical.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImperiled
Subtitle of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Conservation: Volume 1-3
EditorsDominick A. DellaSala, Michael I. Goldstein
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128211397
ISBN (Print)9780128211397
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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