The who, what, and where of global shark catch: the Mediterranean and Black Seas
One in four fishes in the class Chondrichthyes (sharks, skates, rays, and chimaeras) is threatened with extinction, according to the IUCN Red List. The primary threat to chondrichthyans is overfishing, but the taxonomic resolution of existing catch statistics is often so low that species-level impacts are overlooked; most of the catch is lumped into categories like “sharks” or “sharks, skates, and rays”. I am developing a method to taxonomically disaggregate Sea Around Us catch statistics to reduce their current ambiguity Using countries in the Mediterranean and Black Seas as a case study, domestic annual species-level catches of will be estimated using species distributions and species-level fisheries data from adjacent EEZs. The resulting catches will be mapped. My research will uncover catches of species that are typically underrepresented in fisheries data and will also identify regions of the Mediterranean and Black Seas that require conservation attention.