Sharks and the UK BAP

The original UK BAP, launched in 1997, listed only the Basking Shark and Common Skate but in 2007 a further 13 elasmobranch (sharks, skates and rays) species were recognised as requiring priority conservation - great news for the many species reeling from the impact of overfishing, bycatch and other unsustainable practices.

This is a great result for the Shark Trust and supporting conservation groups, who have championed these important, yet often poorly understood species, pushing for their recognition in the UK BAP.

Elasmobranchs included in the UK BAP are as follows:


Sharks:

Angelshark © Marc Dando.
Angelshark

Squatina squatina
Basking Shark © Marc Dando.
Basking Shark

Cetorhinus maximus
Blue Shark © Marc Dando.
Blue Shark

Prionace glauca
Gulper Shark © Marc Dando.
Gulper Shark

Centrophorus granulosus
Kitefin Shark © Marc Dando.
Kitefin Shark

Dalatias licha
Leafscale Gulper Shark © Marc Dando.
Leafscale Gulper Shark

Centrophorus squamosus
Porbeagle Shark © Marc Dando.
Porbeagle Shark

Lamna nasus
Portugese Dogfish © Marc Dando.
Portuguese Dogfish

Centroscymnus coelolepis
Shortfin Mako Shark © Marc Dando.
Shortfin Mako Shark

Isurus oxyrinchus
Spiny Dogfish © Marc Dando.
Spiny Dogfish

Squalus acanthias
Tope Shark © Marc Dando.
Tope Shark

Galeorhinus galeus
 

Skates and Rays:

Common Skate © Marc Dando.
Common Skate

Dipturus batis
Sandy Ray © Marc Dando.
Sandy Ray

Leucoraja circularis
Undulate Ray © Marc Dando.
Undulate Ray

Raja undulate
White Skate © Marc Dando.
White Skate

Rostroraja alba

You could be forgiven for not realising some of these species are frequent visitors to UK waters, yet Blue, Shortfin Mako and Porbeagle Sharks (a close relative of the notorious White Shark) have been targeted in UK, EU and international fisheries. At the same time sharks which have graced our plates for generations, such as the Spiny Dogfish (commonly known as Rock Salmon) have experienced acute population decline as a result of increased fishing effort and ineffective management. Spare a thought too for the less charismatic ray and skate species: Sandy, Undulate and White Skate populations are in serious decline as a result of the same unsustainable fishing practices.