New project: Sharks and rays
The new Sharks and Rays project is the result of the collaboration of Catsharks and Sea Watchers, aims to centralize the information on sightings of these threatened species.
Sharks and rays play a key role as predators in regulating marine ecosystems. They are a diverse group under pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction. Being slow-growing, late-reproducing species makes them especially vulnerable to these pressures.
Almost 50% of the chondrichthyan species (the group including sharks and rays) in the Mediterranean are threatened with extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The decline of these predators is global, so their conservation is a priority.
Shark and ray sightings are rare, so any observation is of great value. Furthermore, so far the information on the sightings is fragmented. For this reason, the National Elasmobranch Network proposes Sea Watchers as the reference marine citizen science platform to report sightings of these threatened species.
“Sharks and rays” arises from the collaboration of Catsharks, an organization dedicated to the study and conservation of elasmobranchs, with Sea Wathcers. The new project aims to involve citizens in collecting useful information on sharks and rays for their knowledge and conservation.
Image: Prionace glauca, Isaias Cruz.