Elasmobranch fisheries and trade in North Aegean

The issue

The Hellenic seas host remarkable biodiversity of elasmobranchs with 67 species confirmed to be present. From those, 25 are protected, based on national and international legislation, while the regulation of fishing for another 5 species is declared.

The level of elasmobranch exploitation in Greece remains ambiguous, as they are recorded in aggregated categories or misreported once landed and thus species-specific data are not available in a country level. In 2009, a section about elasmobranchs was included in the Greek Red Data Book, which included only 62 species and based on that assessment only 13 were considered threatened, while 49 were not evaluated due to insufficient data. However, based on the latest Mediterranean Assessment of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 42 of the 67 species found in the Greek waters are considered threatened. Based on data collected from iSea and in the context of a recent publication, mislabeling of elasmobranch products is common in the Greek markets with different shark species commonly sold under the general trade name “Galeos”. Incidents of illegal fishing of elasmobranch are still quite frequent despite the existing legislative measures.


The goal

Monitoring the landings and the marketed products of elasmobranchs in the four major ports of the North Aegean Sea, which is considered a hotspot for elasmobranchs in the Greek waters.


The project foresees the following actions:

  1. Visits in the auction markets of Michaniona (Thessaloniki), Kavala and Alexandroupoli and the landing port of Volos for performing Rapid Fishery Assessment on elasmobranch landings. Visits will take place once per month between January 2019-December 2019
  2. Visits in the fish markets of Volos, Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupoli. During the visits (i) samples of elasmobranch products will be collected and (ii) interviews with fishmongers and consumers will be conducted. Visits will take place once per month between January 2019-December 2019

Press releases

Articles in the Greek Press

Scientific Publications

  • Giovos, I., Arculeo, M., Doumpas, N., Katsada, D., Mitsou, E., Naasan Aga-Spyridopoulou, R., Stoilas, V.O., Tiralongo, F., Tsamadias, I., Vecchioni, L., Moutopoulos, D.K. (IN PRESS). Assessing multiple sources of data to detect illegal fishing, trade and mislabelling of elasmobranchs in Greek markets. Marine Policy

Communications in Conferences

  • Giovos I., Naasan Aga, R., Doumpas, N., Moutopoulos, D. (2019). Elasmobranch fisheries and trade in the North Aegean. IUCN Mediterranean Shark and Ray Conservation Meeting, Palma de Mallorca 4-7 November 2019
  • Giovos I., Doumpas, N., Loukovitis, D., Naasan Aga, R., Romanidis-Kyriakidis, G., Tiralongo, F., Moutopoulos, D. (2019). Elasmobranch fisheries and trade in North Aegean: Six months of systematic monitoring. 23th Annual Conference, European Elasmobranch Association, Rende 16-18 October 2019.
  • Naasan Aga, R., Doumpas, N., Romanidis-Kyriakidis, G., Giovos I. (2019). Occurrences and illegal trade of the critically endangered spiny butterfly ray in Greece. 14th ICZEGAR, Thessaloniki, 27-30 June 2019

Project's Team

Coordinator: Ioannis Giovos

Data collection: Roxannie Naasan Aga Spyridopoulou, Nikolaos Doumpas 

Scientific advice: Dimitrios Moutopoulos 



With the support of 

Find the project's final report here