Our recent research on elasmobranch fishing and trade in Greece has just been published. Through a systematic study for a year and on a monthly basis, we visited auction markets, landing points, and fishing markets in Northern Greece, for recording the landings of sharks and rays at the species level and for quantifying their illegal trade and mislabelling.
Although fishing is the most prevalent threat for sharks and rays in the Mediterranean, its impact on their populations is still hard to be quantified as in almost all Mediterranean countries these species are recorded in aggregate landing categories resulting in no species-level quantitative data. At the same time, it is already known that all over the world, but also in Greece, illegal trade and mislabelling on elasmobranch products exist, with protected species reaching our plates.
In this context, trying to understand more about the pressures that these species face in Greece, we present estimated landed volume of sharks and rays at the species level. At the same time, through this work, we present quantitative seasonal data on illegal trade and mislabelling. Finally, based on the findings, we propose changes to the applied legislation of recording and marketing elasmobranchs in an effort to increase traceability, empower research and facilitate effective protection and management of protected and endangered species.
It is important to emphasize that this is one of the few relevant studies available in the Mediterranean and the first in Greece and we hope that it will significantly help both the scientific community but also the administrators to take more effective measures. We would like to warmly thank our partners for their valuable help. This research funded by OceanCare and the Shark Foundation/Hai-Stiftung.
You can find the research article here.