Shark, Rays and Skates Research Conservation and Education
Elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) have been important predators in marine ecosystems for over 400 million years. However, many species experience an elevated risk of extinction today due to the effects of fishing and bycatch. Yet, scientific information to inform stock assessments and spatial conservation efforts is often scarce and of poor quality. My PhD Project evaluates (1) how important life history parameters can be estimated more reliably to improve data-poor assessments for better fisheries management, and (2) whether existing marine protected area (MPA) networks can act as an additional conservation strategy for threatened elasmobranchs. In addition, I use state-of-the art tagging and modelling approaches to learn more about the spatial ecology of sharks, rays and skates. Here, Cabo Verde, West Africa, is an ideal location to test many data-poor approaches in a remote but important area for elasmobranchs. The identified critical habitats from these approaches can then be suggested for protection. At the same time, I run or participate in education programs, mostly in Canada and Cabo Verde. Most of these projects are in collaboration with ShARCC, the Worm Lab and many other Canadian, local and international partners.
Dr. Boris Worm (Dalhousie University) Canada
Dr. Rainer Froese (GEOMAR) Germany
TYPE/STATUS OF PROJECT
Scientific research (In progress)