2018 - 2020

SafeSharks Discover map
Image SafeSharks
SafeSharks Discover map
Image SafeSharks

The project

The Mediterranean Sea is considered one of the most dangerous places for sharks and rays in the world, with more than 50% of its species at risk of extinction. Sharks are indicators of ocean health, as apex predators they influence the balance in the food web and the overall structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. Their decline entails marked ecological consequences for marine communities.

The Adriatic Sea hosts nursery and spawning areas for many shark species and the presence of an important swordfish fishery in the Southern Adriatic, is likely to impact sharks transiting to nursery and spawning grounds.
The project focuses on the Southern Adriatic adopting a comprehensive approach including stakeholder engagement, roundtables of relevant actors, piloting innovation, mitigation trials, seafood fraud risk, communication, and policy/advocacy.

This pilot project will activate key stakeholders in the region to support the transformation of the Southern Adriatic longline fleet in a best practice example of bycatch reduction and management, where fishers and port authorities are fully involved in the development and implementation of a strategy to improve post-release survival of sharks and have developed ownership to the protocol. This best practice example, together with key information on seafood fraud and illegal marketing of protected species, will be used to impulse the implementation of conservation measures in Italy and Albania on a wider scale and raise civil society awareness on the critical status of sharks in the Mediterranean.

Project leader
Giulia Prato

Go to the project's website

Objectives / results

To reduce incidental catches and consumption of sharks in the Southern Adriatic


WWF Mediterranean Marine Initiative
Download file 2019_Sharks_report.pdf
Download file 2019_The_SafeSharks_project.pdf