Watch out! Angel Sharks in the Water @Risco Verde


Risco Verde” is a dive spot in Arinaga, Gran Canaria where you can find different habitats including rock formations, sand and seagrass. This combination of habitat types hosts an incredible biodiversity of marine life.

Screen shot 2014-05-06 at 11.06.51 PMRisco Verde

The mission : Two Angel Sharks spotted

On our second mission, we couldn’t have been more lucky! Just after we entered the water a big surprise was waiting for us! A 1.3 m large male passed our way at a depth of only 5m ….

Risco verde tony

… just amazing to see him swimming away… too fast for us to follow him.

So we continued looking for other angel sharks and actually after a while we found one in a place we didn’t really expect any sharks…. right in the middle of seagrass, buried in a sand patch.

Risco Verde Tony1

Risco Verde Tony3

This shark was approximately 1 m long resting at a depth of 12 m.

Why care?

Even though Angel Sharks (Squatina squatina) are extinct from almost its entire historic distribution range and the IUCN Red List has listed this species as Critically Endangered, in the Canary Islands, there seems to be quite a stable population. In our last two missions we saw a total of 4 sharks and there are many more being registered in the database for the last few weeks since the project started. We strongly hope that the Canary Island Angel Shark population is able to maintain itself stable, despite facing threads like sport fishing, illegal fishing and habitat degradation.

Like many other sharks, angel sharks a particularly vulnerable due to their slow growth and reproduction rates. It is therefore crucial to implement an effective conservation strategy based on the data we are trying to obtain through this project.

Key facts

Locality: Risco Verde , Gran Canaria      Water temperature: 18 º C

Date : 02.05.2014                                           Time: 10 am

Number of Individuals: 2                       Size:  130 cm and 100 cm

Depth of sightings: First at 5 m and second at 12 m

Duration of dive:  65 minutes

Again I have to thank Tony Sanchez for joining me on this mission and taking these amazing pictures!

Risco Verde tony4


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