Let's protect some of the Ocean’s most vulnerable sharks!

Our Angel Sharks Appeal aims to increase the profile and strengthen protection of Angel Sharks.

The habitat preference of angel sharks leaves them particularly vulnerable to fishing and habitat degradation. As a result, many species have suffered steep population declines and now face a high risk of extinction. Half of these species are now listed in a threat category (5 Critically Endangered, 2 Endangered, and 4 Vulnerable) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The Angelshark is now protected across much of its current range. It’s listed as a Prohibited Species under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and has domestic protection in some countries. Regulations do exist for management and protection of all three Mediterranean species - Sawback Angelshark (S. aculeata), Smoothback Angelshark (S. oculata), and Angelshark (S. squatina) - but not all are implemented. This is our current focus.

To date, we’ve focused on the three Critically Endangered angel sharks in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. With so many members of the angel shark family threatened, we’re working to build better understanding for all species and increase sightings records.


ANGEL SHARKS

  • SAWBACK ANGELSHARK - Once widespread in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Now only occasional reports of this species are received. Angel shark landings are reported in grouped categories, masking specific species that are being landed. Their habitat has been subject to intense demersal fisheries, as such, this species is now rarely reported from large areas of their former range.

  • SMOOTHBACK ANGELSHARK - Formerly common over large areas of coastal and outer continental shelf areas in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. Population numbers have declined significantly, over the past 50 years, due to intense demersal fisheries.

  • ANGELSHARK - The Angelshark was once common in the Northeast Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea, but their range has drastically declined during the past century due to intensified fishing. Although there have been increased reports from Cardigan Bay (Wales) and occasional reports from across the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands is the only known location where they can be regularly encountered. We need to take action to ensure this population is protected.


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