Angel sharks are flat-bodied bottom-dwelling sharks and their family is considered to be one the most endangered in the world. In the Mediterranean Sea, 3 species of angel sharks exist the Sawback Angelshark, the Smooth back Angelshark, and the Angelshark their Mediterranean population has been classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, due to the severe decline in their population as well as to localised extinctions. In Greece, all the 3 Mediterranean species are extant.
General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) Geographical Subareas (GSAs) 22 and 23 (Aegean Sea and Crete) have been identified as priority regions for angel sharks, given the contemporary occurrence of all three species of Squatina known in the Mediterranean. There have been recent captures (and subsequent sale) of all three species, despite regulations in place to prohibit this.
Considering the mentioned factors and implementing one of the actions suggested in the Mediterranean Action Plan a Subregional Action Plan was developed to serve as a detailed tool for the regional Governments to use in order to protect and preserve these species.
In this context, three goals were set based on the Mediterranean Action Plan:
- Fisheries based angel shark mortality is minimised in the Aegean and Cretan seas
- Angel shark habitat is identified and protected.
- National legislation for angel sharks is established, implemented, and enforced.
Find the Mediterranean Angel Sharks: SubRegional Action Plan (SubRAP) GSAs 22/23 (Aegean Sea and Crete) here
Find the greek version of the SubRAP here