Mediterranean Cartilaginous Fish
Of the 71 species living and breeding in the
Summary of conservation status for Chondrichthyans of the Mediterranean, 2008
Main Threats and Conservation Action
By-catch is considered the biggest threat, but the decline is also due to the life history characteristics of the chondrichthyans, in combination with the enclosed nature of the Mediterranean Sea, the intense fishing activity throughout its coastal and pelagic waters, the effects of habitat loss, environmental degradation, and pollution. One particular threat is shark finning, referring to the removal and retention of shark fins and throwing the rest of the shark back to the sea.
Legal protection is urgently needed as only few of the threatened species are listed under relevant conventions or legal agreements, and over 73% currently receive no form of protection in the Mediterranean. Further research and monitoring programmes should be directed towards Data Deficient and threatened species.
These results can be consulted in the report: "Overview of the Conservation Status of Cartilaginous Fishes (Chondrichthyans) in the Mediterranean Sea" (eds. R. Cavanagh and C. Gibson), elaborated in collaboration with the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, and with the financial support of the Mava Foundation.
Blue Shark - Vulnerable
Photo: Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch