Migratory sharks in the Gulf of Gabès: by-catch, ecology and critical habitats

Investigation conducted in Tunisia showed that several elasmobranch species (Rays and sharks)   occur along Tunisian coasts mainly in the Gulf of Gabès; 65 species were recorded, among them eight rays and five sharks are common. Small artisanal fleet targeting elasmobranchs are operating in the Gulf of Gabès.Among migratory sharks, three species are listed in Appendixes I and II of the Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and captured accidentally as “by-catch” along Tunisian coats: The white shark Carcharodon carcharias, the basking sharkCetorhinus maximus and the shortfin mako shark Isurus oxyrinchus.Adults and juveniles of these species were captured as by-catch mainly in the Gulf of Gabès coats which seems to be a nursery for many elasmobranchs. Pregnant female’s white sharks are also accidentally caught in this area. Data on the biology of migratory sharks are fragmentary or even absent. The delimitation of critical habitats is crucial to manage fisheries and reduce by-catch.

  1. Monitoring of migratory shark by-catch along Tunisian coasts (species, landings, CPUE ...)
  2. Collection of biological data (diet, reproductive biology…) 
  3. Investigation of the presence of critical areas (nurseries) for these sharks
  4. Collection of samples for genetic studies. 

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Implementing AgencyInstitut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer (INSTM)

Activity start dateMarch 2015
Activity end dateSeptember 2016
CMS AppendixAppendix I, Appendix II
Taxonomic groupFish
Target regionAfrica
Target countryTunisia
Final technical reportNo

Population genetics
Unsustainable fishing and harvesting aquatic resources