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Scientific Sharks: Scientific Sharks: Scuba Diving Sharkpups

Discover the serious threats posed to sharks worldwide and assist with research into populations which can help form conservation strategies.

  • Assist with local shark research by searching for Elasmobranch eggcases both on shore and underwater.
  • Learn how to record the location of eggcases underwater so that researchers can monitor development.
  • Learn to identify different species of sharks and rays to record sightings made whilst diving.
  • Record details of sharks and rays seen whilst diving to provide information for shark researchers.

Sharks are threatened internationally by overfishing and the shark fin trade. The populations have been decreasing at an alarming rate and the repercussions of the demise of an apex predator will have serious implications for other marine animals.

Around Malta, research is being conducted into the local population of sharks and other key fish species to keep track of this problem. Whilst there are new protected areas, research is needed to establish and monitor the populations in these areas to determine the effectiveness of the zones. Researchers also frequent the local fish markets to look for shark species. Whilst there, they particularly look for the female sharks of certain species which may be carrying egg cases. These can be rescued and taken to the local aquarium where they will be hatched, and the shark pups then released once they are six months old.

Your group will learn key information to help assist with shark research in Maltese waters. Working alongside researchers, you will primarily be helping to conduct the population research whilst scuba diving along transects. You will also have the opportunity to visit the fish markets to gain an understanding of the scale of the problem.

Duration
5 to 7 days
Project focus
Conservation, Research, Marine biology
Fitness level
Moderate
When to go
Mar to Nov
Prerequisites
  • Must be a certified Open Water Diver or complete training during trip
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