A recently published study finds sharks — “the stewards of coral reef systems” — are functionally extinct in half a dozen reef systems around the globe. “As apex predators, they pick off sick and weak fish, leaving the stronger ones to reproduce, which helps maintain the health and vitality of the marine ecosystem.” It’s not all bad news: “There were quite a few good places that still remained … scattered in the Central Pacific Ocean.” But, as one of the researchers put it: “Sharks need help and they need our attention… I’m not sure there’s any place that we can just… ignore the issue.”

Read full story on: Mongabay