«…Our feature story is the first of a series of fact sheets on human impacts on sharks and rays. Developed in collaboration with the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the first of these relates to overfishing, the biggest threat to this group, and provides an overview of impacts from industrial, artisanal, and recreational fisheries. But we also have lots more! We have a beautiful story from Iran where a team of early career scientists came together and travelled the whole coastline of the country to talk to fisher communities and gather information on shark fisheries and trade... From Indonesia, we hear about efforts to develop and implement shark and ray bycatch mitigation technologies using electro-shields and the promising results of various trials… From the Mediterranean Sea, an overview of the species occurring in the Adriatic Sea highlights this area as a biodiversity hotspot but notes the local extinction of three species within this body of water. From Brazil, we are introduced to a new method that allows us to identify shark carcasses from illegal catches - by looking at the microanatomy of the skin!
…We provide an update on progress with the newly developed selection criteria finally being applied to the first region of the world – the Central and South American Pacific… We also look at the synergies between the ISRA project and SARRI, the Shark and Ray Recovery Initiative, and highlight the importance of collaborations across sectors and research groups to ensure we have data to support spatial planning and the development of recovery plans.
This issue ends with a collection of beautiful imagery of feeding aggregations of Grey Reef Sharks in Fakarava, French Polynesia and street art or ‘Artivism’. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I genuinely believe that with these collections of photographs and art, we can showcase even more how magnificent these species are and inspire ocean stewardship.»
Dr Rima W. Jabado: IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group (SSG) Chair
We also would like to thank and recognise the many contributors who have contributed and helped to shape this seventh issue: Rima Jabado, Chelsea Stein, Alexandra Morata, Ana Hacohen-Domene, Manuel Dureuil, Sushmita Mukherji, Chris Mull, Simon J. Pierce, Melissa Cristina Márquez, Chaerul Ahadi, Ranny R. Yuneni, Mohsen Rezaie-Atagholipour, Marioxis K. Macías-Cuyare, Maria Cristina Oddone, Alen Soldo, Laurent Ballesta, Michael Scholl, Peter Scholl and all the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group (SSG) members.