Large fish are the most at threat from extinction, a team of scientists led by the Aberdeen University has discovered.
They found that bigger fish – such as sharks and rays – were more susceptible to threats due to growing more slowly, taking longer to mature and having fewer offspring.
The team was made up of 44 researchers from around the world, and received funding from the European Commission and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.
The scientists also studied the status of commercial fish stocks across Europe, where they saw a contrast in fishing levels between the northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
The study was part of an effort to assess the extinction risk carried out by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
They use the data to produce the European Red List of Marine Fishes – which highlights some of the most at risk fish.
Dr Paul Fernandes from the University of Aberdeen’s school of biological science said: “In the northeast Atlantic in 2014, almost twice as many stocks were sustainably fished as overfished, eight stocks were recovering and 19 were declining.
“However, in the Mediterranean Sea, almost all stocks examined in our study were overfished and not one was sustainable. This comes down to how the areas are managed and the unique nature of the fishing communities in the two areas”.