Sharks and Rays in Greece and Cyprus

Description

Sharks and rays have been present on earth for nearly half a billion years, with more than 1,250 extant species. The pivotal importance of cartilaginous fish for marine ecosystems is highlighted by the fact that most shark and some ray species constitute top predators, thus possess central and stabilizing functions in marine food webs. Based on the latest report of IUCN at least half of the rays (50%, 16 of 32 species) in the Mediterranean Sea face an elevated risk of extinction, as well as 54% of sharks (22 of 41). The principal driver for this is overfishing along with the life history characteristics of these species (low reproductive, slow growth rates and long life spans). In Greek Seas at least 67 species of cartilaginous fish are present but existing knowledge on their distribution, ecology and biology is still limited. In Cyprus, studies related to the presence/biology of cartilaginous fish are limited and deficient. Around 30 species of cartilaginous fish have been reported to be present in Cypriot waters to date. M.E.C.O. (Mediterranean Elasmobranchs Citizen Observations) is a Mediterranean initiative which aims to create a network of Mediterranean elasmobranch sightings data, through a collaboration between different teams in various countries, to better understand the occurrence, seasonality and distribution of elasmobranchs in this region. The project "Sharks and Rays in Greece and Cyprus" is part of M.E.C.O. and it aims at recording observations of sharks and rays from Greece and Cyprus through the help of sea user citizen scientists. The data will be used to study the distribution and biology of these species.

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Aim

This project aims at recording observations of sharks and rays from Greece and Cyprus. The data will be used to study the distribution and biology of these species. This is an iSea and Marine and Environmental Research Lab Ltd project in collaboration with researchers from the Mediterranean in the context of the M.E.C.O. (Mediterranean Elasmobranchs Citizen Observations) project.

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How to participate

1. Like the official M.E.C.O. page on Facebook (https://bit.ly/3nu7XNe). 2. Become a member of our Facebook Group (https://bit.ly/35xvI0G) or any other M.E.C.O. group and post your observations. 3. Send us your observations at: elasmobranchs@isea.com.gr or via iNaturalist (https://bit.ly/3jHy2X7). 4. Download the SEAlly App (https://bit.ly/2DTP6Kl) and report your observations of sharks anywhere in the world!!!

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Equipment

Camera or cellphone

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