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Oceans and fisheries
News article22 December 2023Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries1 min read

Preserving sharks in the Mediterranean

Picture from Euronews OCEAN episode on sharks

In October 2023, the project LIFE European Sharks project started with one objective in mind: safeguarding Mediterranean sharks and rays.

As stated by the project coordinator Eleonora de Sabata: “Our approach is to try and focus on the human element and change the perspective on sharks from being dangerous to endangered.”

Co-funded by the EU, the project will promote the conservation of protected species and encourage responsible and sustainable interactions with sharks and rays by:

  1. Training fisheries officers and fishers to reduce mortality of protected species, promoting compliance with EU regulations and improving the quality of data collection.
  2. Testing with fishers voluntary actions to reduce shark and ray bycatch mortality, with an assessment of the socio-economic impact of these solutions.
  3. Promoting shark and ray catch&release among recreational fishers, and better handling technique to increase post-release survival.
  4. Reducing the risk of entanglement in local fishing gear with the cooperation of divers.
  5. Tapping into the knowledge of sea users to map important areas for breeding, feeding and migration of sharks and rays, and stimulate authorities, policy makers and communities to implement conservation measures.
  6. Increasing public understanding of the essential that sharks and rays play in the Mediterranean ecosystem and encouraging the consumption of local and more sustainable food. The project plans activities in several aquariums and will also collaborate with chefs.
Shark egg
Picture from Euronews OCEAN episode on sharks

Giovanni Raimondi, Scientific Coordinator of Acquario di Livorno said: Sharks need transition from negative perception created by cinema to a more sustainable, environmentally focused image, that reflects the crucial ecological role they play in the environment.”

Coordinated by Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, the project brings together partners from Croatia, France and Italy.

This project is supported by the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

More information

Project website: European Sharks - a LIFE project

Details on the projects partners: LIFE 3.0 - LIFE22-GIE-IT-LIFE-EU-SHARKS

Interview and video with project coordinator: European sharks 'in danger and not dangerous,' warns marine expert | Euronews

Euronews OCEAN episode Shark SOS: The initiatives seeking to revive Europe's predator populations:

LIFE programme (EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action): LIFE - European Commission (


Publication date
22 December 2023
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries