Following an increasing number of Angelshark sightings along the Welsh coast in recent years, we have teamed up with ZSL and Natural Resources Wales to better understand and conserve Angelsharks in Welsh waters.
Angel Shark Project: Wales launched in July 2018 to safeguard one of the world’s rarest sharks through fisher participation, heritage and citizen science. The Angel Shark Project team were closely involved in developing this project, which focuses on four major areas:
- Fisher engagement – working with fishers to gather vital information on where Angelsharks used to be found and where they are still accidentally caught today. Through regular meetings and training days we will explain how to handle Angelsharks so they are released in the best condition and how to take mucus samples (so that we can gather DNA to understand how Angelsharks in Wales are connected). We are working closely with the Welsh Fisherman’s Association and Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers to complete this work. It is important to note that direct targeted fishing of Angelsharks is illegal and discouraged by this project.
- Historical research – working with older communities across Wales to gather information, memories and photographs of Angelsharks from a time when they were more abundant as part of a Angelshark History Roadshow. This will be complemented with citizen science research at local libraries, archives and magazines to develop a full historical picture of Angelsharks in Wales. We plan for these collections to not only help understand Angelshark ecology, but also to inspire younger generations and tackle some of the issues associated to loneliness in remote communities.
- Citizen science dive & snorkel surveys – working closely with Sea Search North Wales to complete Dive for Angels events at possible Angelshark habitats to try and find these animals in their natural environment. Citizen Science divers will be trained in Angelshark diving protocol and information will help understand Angelshark ecology in the region.
- Welsh Angelshark Action Plan – bringing all stakeholders together to develop the Wales Angelshark Action Plan, highlighting key steps to secure the future of Angelsharks in Welsh waters.
Explore the Angel Shark Project: Wales webpage for more information