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Shark & Rays back into the North Sea: First tagged thornback ray recaptured and registered!

The ray

Project Partners WWF NL, Sportvisserij Nederland, Dutch Shark Society, Blue Linked and The NorthSea Foundation report:
The first tagged thornback ray has surfaced, both in water and on Twitter!
In the North Sea there are 220 different types of fish, including 9 species of sharks and 9 species of rays. But most of those populations of sharks and rays do not flourish. The project team is therefore conducting a research project on breeding  elasmobranchs to see if in future, populations in the North Sea can be strengthened.
The thornback rays are part of a pilot release: the species is not critically endangered in the North Sea. At a later stage, the team will examine if breeding and strengthening of populations of critically endangered species is feasible. All bred and released rays are tagged so we can follow them, and we can can track their migration – but also which obstacles they encounter. With that information, better protection is possible.
 Michaël Laterveer, project partner and director of the center Blue Linked:
‘I can see from the tag that the ray was born on 9 May 2016 and it was released at the age of 1,5 years. This animal has covered no less than 225 km in the 285 days after the release, to resurface in the Wadden Sea. ‘ Visser Peter also reported the ray on Thank you Peter! With these reports from fishermen we can do better research so that the populations of sharks and rays in the future will be healthy again, just like our own North Sea!

In the project Sharks and rays back in the North Sea we are working on the following 3 points:

1. Beter protection for sharks and rays in the North Sea through policies and regulations

2. Sustainability of fishing: bycatch mitigation, also through catch recognition in collaboration with fisheries organizations

3. Rehabilitation of populations of sharks and rays in the North Sea; a.o. by breeding and releasing threatened elasmobranches with innovative projects.

More on this exciting project:

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