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Project Stellaris: Mediterranean catsharks in the spotlights!

During the last meeting of the European Elasmobranch Association,  November 7-9 2014),the Dutch Shark Society had the pleasure of sponsoring three participants, whose research project was focusing on a shark living in European waters or had a good citizen science angle.
The lucky participants were Joana F. Silva of CEFAS UK (Demersal elasmobranchs in the western English Channel), John Richardson of the Shark Trust (Maximising smartphone technology in marine recording projects and Incorporating fishermen’s knowledge into sustainable sourcing guidance) and Eleonora de Sabata of Medsharks (A ten-year wrap-up of Operazione Squalo Elefante, basking shark field research in the Mediterranean and several poster presentations, one of those on The Stellaris project). Eleonora teams up with scientist Simone Clò.

The Stellaris Project is monitoring the largest known breeding area of the nursehound (Scyliorhinus stellaris) in the Mediterranean sea, a species whose basic biology is very poorly known, classified as Data Deficient in the Italian Red List of vertebrate species and as Near Threatened in the IUCN regional Red List of endangered species. This project is monitoring embryos onsite in the rocky Santa Croce Bank in the Gulf of Naples (Italy), between -20 and -45m of depth, with regular monthly diving check-ups.

From left to right: John  Richardson, Joana Silva and Eleonora de Sabata

From left to right: John Richardson, Joana Silva and Eleonora de Sabata

Eleonora and Simone have involved the diving industry in the region in a special event, a BioBlitz, where divers “adopted” their own shark egg and are now monitoring the development of “their” baby shark with regular monthly check-ups. Continuous updates, photos and videos are being posted online on the project’s website and social media profile, and has been featured on national media, thus reaching a much wider audience.

To the Dutch Shark Society, this was a participant worth sponsoring!
We will feature the work of the other Award Winners in later new postings.

See Eleonora de Sabata  explain the Stellaris project in a video interview with Dorien Schröder of the Dutch Shark Society.




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