Inter-Research > MEPS > v689 > p57-76  
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 689:57-76 (2022)  -  DOI:

New technologies can support data collection on endangered shark species in the Mediterranean Sea

Filippo Bargnesi1,2,*, Stefano Moro3,4, Agostino Leone5,6, Ioannis Giovos7, Francesco Ferretti8

1Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2Cattolica Aquarium, 47841 Cattolica (RN), Italy
3Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
4Department of Integrated Marine Ecology (EMI), Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, 80122 Naples, Italy
5MARBEC, University of Montpellier, Ifremer, IRD, CNRS, 34200 Sète, France
6Department of Biological, Geological & Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, 48123 Ravenna, Italy
7iSea, Environmental Organization for the Preservation of the Aquatic Ecosystems, 54645 Thessaloniki, Greece
8Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: In the last 50 yr, shark populations showed steep declines in the Mediterranean Sea.The IUCN lists most Mediterranean species as threatened (55%), while considering 27.5% of them Data Deficient. Here, sharks are currently one of the rarest and more elusive groups of animals, and data from fisheries and scientific monitoring still insufficiently support robust abundance and distribution assessments. New technologies can fill this data gap by linking people and scientists through new monitoring strategies. SharkPulse, an international collaborative project, aims at creating a large world database of shark occurrence records by mining images on the web, social networks, and private archives. Here we analyzed 1186 sharkPulse records from the Mediterranean Sea. We collected records to characterize spatio-temporal patterns on 37 species, highlighting distribution changes for 5, and, by using generalized linear models, estimating trends in sighting for the most abundant species. With 273 records, Hexanchus griseus had the most sighting records since the beginning of the series. We identified pupping areas and aggregation sites for immature Prionace glauca and Isurus oxyrinchus; pinpointed strongholds of the Critically Endangered Squatina squatina to focus conservation efforts; and identified broader than previously reported regional distribution ranges for Alopias superciliosus, Dalatias licha, Heptranchias perlo, H. griseus, Oxynotus centrina, and P. glauca. We confirmed that fishing is still the major threat for Mediterranean sharks and call for a greater effort in controlling the emerging patterns with efficient conservation effort indexes. If properly standardized, opportunistic data can efficiently and cost-effectively advance our understanding of shark abundance, distribution, and conservation status.

KEY WORDS: Citizen science · Data mining · Elasmobranchs · Opportunistic data · Abundance · Distribution

Full text in pdf format
Cite this article as: Bargnesi F, Moro S, Leone A, Giovos I, Ferretti F (2022) New technologies can support data collection on endangered shark species in the Mediterranean Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 689:57-76.

Export citation
Share:    Facebook - - linkedIn

 Previous article Next article