A guide, in defence of the shark

32 of these species “fundamental to the marine ecosystem” are revealed

The researchers unveiled the Shark Guide yesterday at the Casa del Mar.

Yesterday, the Casa del Mar in Cartagena hosted the official presentation of the Sharks and Rays Guide of the Region of Murcia. The aim of these presentations was to disseminate the results obtained in research projects coordinated by the researcher Francisca Giménez Casalduero, from the University of Alicante, in order to publicise the presence of sharks (elasmobranchs) in the Mediterranean near the Region of Murcia and to improve the negative social perception of this group, Ecologists in Action of the Region of Murcia, one of the collaborating organisations, informed in a press release.

The result of this project, called Tiburcia: Sharks and rays of the Region of Murcia, has been the creation of a guide to 32 species of sharks, torpedoes and rays that frequent the coasts of the Region. It also includes curiosities and basic information on each species and a summary of good practices with these animals for fishermen, beach users and consumers.

“Sharks and rays are very feared and do not really attack. They are shy”, explained one of the organisers of the event, Brígida Aránega, from Ecologistas en Acción, to this newspaper, as she maintains that they are a group located at the top of the trophic chain and essential to the functioning of the marine ecosystem, which contrasts with an undeserved bad reputation.

The Tiburcia project is a collaboration between the Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology of the University of Alicante and the NGO Ecologistas en Acción. In turn, it is financed by Galpemur (Grupo de Acción Local de Pesca y Acuicultura de la Región de Murcia), a non-profit organisation that collaborates with the Regional Ministry of Water, Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Environment of the Region of Murcia.

Within Tiburcia they have previously carried out outreach activities for society, describing the singularities of this group of marine vertebrates on the coast of Mazarrón and providing the fishing sector with information and materials that will improve their particular knowledge of these species. In this way, they are active participants and agents in the conservation of biodiversity.

During the conference, the speakers made it clear that the guide aims to raise awareness of the rich diversity of species in the region and the importance of preserving habitats for their survival and thus ensure the proper functioning of the marine ecosystem. Ecologists in Action explain that the data collected originate from the results obtained in a previous project carried out in the canyons of Escarpe de Mazarrón, Seco de Palos and Campo de Pockmarks.

The event was attended by Francisco José Espejo García, Director General of Livestock, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Emilio María Dolores, Head of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Service of the Directorate General, among other representatives of the various corporations involved.

The guide is available on the Ecologists in Action website and on the website of the University of Alicante.


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