The three angel shark species found in the Mediterranean and Greece, the sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata), the smoothback angelshark (S. oculata), and the angeshark (S. squatina) are classified as “Critically Endangered (CR)” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Recent angel shark records in Cyclades and Dodecanese island groups indicate that the South Aegean region is very important for their Mediterranean populations.
In this context, the project “Strengthening Angel Shark Conservation in the Southern Aegean Sea” aims to identify important areas for the three angel shark species, to submit proposals for the improvement of the current legislation, and organise workshops for the training of competent authorities, local bodies and fishers.
In order to identify areas of high possibility of angel shark occurrence, a modeling approach was employed which revealed three critical areas for the three species:
- the region of Cyclades island group,
- the southeastern part of the Aegean and especially the zone between the islands of Samos and Rhodes,
- the northern coasts of Crete.
Based on the outcome of the above analysis, a Layman’s report was issued that includes the results obtained as well as a few guidelines aimed at improving the conservation and protection of Aegean angel sharks.
You can find the Layman’s report here.