Overexploitation of Rays and Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea
Institute for Coastal Marine Environment (IAMC) - National Research Council (CNR) -Section of Messina, Italy
- *Corresponding Author:
- Monique Mancuso
Institute for Coastal Marine Environment
(IAMC)-National Research Council (CNR)-Section of Messina
Spianata S. Raineri, Messina, Italy
Tel: (+39) 0815423804
Received date: February 20, 2015; Accepted date: February 23, 2015; Published date: March 03, 2015
Citation: Mancuso M (2015) Overexploitation of Rays and Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea. J Biodivers Endanger Species 3:e123. doi:10.4172/2332-2543.1000e123
Copyright: © 2015 Mancuso M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Elasmobranchs; Overfishing; Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed marine basin
characterized by complex and diverse marine communities [1,2].
Mediterranean basin is one of the world’s richest places in terms of
animal and plant diversity  and it was recognized as one of the first
25 Global Biodiversity Hotspots .
In the Mediterranean sea Elasmobranchs are characterized by their diversity with 49 sharks and 36 rays [5-8].
Unfortunately, the exploitation of the Mediterranean Sea  along
with the biological characteristics of the Elasmobranchs (i.e. low
growth rate, late sexual maturity and low fecundity, low rates of
biomass turnover) , has meant that many species are over
exploited and extinction threatened . In the last 200 years there
was a dramatic decline of large predatory sharks in the Mediterranean
Sea. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge on the biology and
fishery of Elasmobranchs in many parts of the Mediterranean, for
many species there is a total absence of data .
Today, many sharks and rays are listed on the Red List of
threatened species by the International Union for the Conservation of
The Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and
Natural Habitats (1982) as well as Convention for the Protection of the
Mediterranean Sea against Pollution, Protocol on Specially Protected
Areas and Biological Diversity (1995), Action Plan for the
Conservation of Cartilaginous Fishes in the Mediterranean Sea and the
EU Action Plan for the Conservation and Management of Sharks
ensure the conservation of wild flora and fauna species and their
habitats giving special attention to endangered and vulnerable species.
All these protection measures together with a multifocal study
comprising: monitoring of the species and their environment, a
detailed study of the biology of the species and their ecological role
and the analysis of the Elasmobranchs community must be made by further research to define the criteria for protection and prevention on
endangered Mediterranean species.
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