Assessment of Degree of Exploration and Conservation Strategy of the Protection of Sharks, Skates and Rays in the Neum Bay

Andrej Gajić


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Let's Create a Better Future for Sharks, Skates and RaysiIn the Eastern Adriatic: Towards the Unique Regional Protection

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Sharks, Skates and Rays of Albania: The Final Step towards the Regional Conservation, Governance and Management

This project aims to provide adequate insight into the current populations, to point our main threats and to assess the level of vulnerability of the sharks, skates and rays within the Neum bay (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

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This project is based primarily on the ecology and epizootiology of the sharks, skates and rays (representatives of the classis Elasmobranchii Bonaparte, 1838) that inhabits the waters of the Neum bay, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Entire project is separated into three stages. Primarily the field studies, including the analyses of the current state of populations and habitats (with notes to potential nursery grounds), followed by laboratory analysis (comparative anatomy, pathology, Parasitology and radiology) and educational programs for students, teachers and local people from the Neum bay. For the first time in the entire Adriatic sea, our team will conduct the pathological (both pathomorphological and histopathological) and radiological (X-ray and axial computed tomography) analysis on the by-catch samples in order to understand the influence of different pressures (pollutants) on the health of specimens from each studied species.

This project aims to establish the first view into the current status of populations of chosen tax for which the Neum bay is an appropriate adaptive zone by creating a taxonomical checklist of both registered/encountered and expected species; as well as to map habitats and populations within the studied area and demonstrate them on bathimetric and blind maps. Also, our team will ensure to develop and/or create an Action plan and Strategy for conservation based primarily on the legal protection of species. A series of educational lectures/workshops will be organised in order to raise awareness of the current state of elasmobranchs in the Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to educate key groups on their basic biology and ecology, as well as the urgent need of proper protection. Through this project we will closely cooperate with the Department of ecology and conservation of the Sharklab ADRIA, Department of the pathology Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sarajevo, Association for animal inventory and protection in BH, Port Authorities in Neum as well as numerous other media organizations.

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