For years now severe overfishing has caused an especially dramatic decrease in the numbers of sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea. The waters around Greece are known for their rich diversity of shark and ray species, thus rendering them important for the conservation of biodiversity. The project will investigate the Ambracian Gulf for possible shark nursery grounds.
Work in an Ambracian harbour
Photo © iSEA
Sharks are threatened worldwide, but The waters around Greece are known for their rich diversity of shark and ray species (67 species), thus rendering them important for the conservation of biodiversity. The western region of the Mediterranean Sea is relatively well researched in terms of sharks and rays as opposed to the eastern part. The waters around Greece are thus particularly interesting.
The project will investigate the Ambracian Gulf for possible shark nursery grounds. This is a partially enclosed shallow water area in the Ionian Sea and is home to many large marine species such as dolphins, sea turtles and at least six species of rays. However, nothing is known about any shark species found there.
The project team plans to study shark populations, especially the endangered but not protected sandbar sharks (Charcharhinus plumbeus) in the Mediterranean Sea. With the help of bycatch analyses, tagging and so-called citizen science (e.g. the analysis of private shark photos posted online on social media), the team will try to establish a long-term monitoring system of the shark populations there.
Data collection and analysis is ongoing.
Project Status: in progress since 2021
Project leader: Ioannis Giovos, iSea, Greece
Funding since 2022: approx. CHF 5,200