IUCN event | 12 Feb, 2024

Important Shark and Ray Areas: a new tool to support area-based management

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Photo: Credit Anita Kainrath - Ocean Image Bank

The IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group will introduce the Important Shark and Ray Areas (ISRA) project. This project aims to identify discrete, three-dimensional, portions of habitat that are critical to the survival of sharks, rays, and chimaeras around the globe, and that have the potential to be managed for conservation. The delineation of ISRAs aims to support the implementation of global conservation targets. ISRAs are complementary to other area-based conservation and seascapes of biodiversity importance such as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) and Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs). This expert driven process is being applied across 13 regions. We will present case studies on the application of the ISRA Criteria in the Central and South American Pacific, Mediterranean and Black Seas, and Western Indian Ocean. 

With this event, the ISRA project seeks to: 

1. support CMS’ work by identifying critical habitats for sharks, rays, and chimaeras; 

2. showcase the importance of area-based management for sharks, rays, and chimaeras; and 

3. encourage countries to get involved in the ISRA project and consider these areas as high priority for the implementation of management measures to conserve these species.Bottom of Form