Sharks and rays are critical species that play an important ecosystem role, maintaining balance, creating harmony. Sharks manage the abundance of the organisms in the food chain below them and provide a barometer for ocean health.
There is global concern over the increase of shark and ray catches and the consequences which this has for the populations of many species of these groups in many areas of the world’s oceans. Effective management and conservation require a comprehensive understanding of the shark and rays species.
In Mozambique, approximately 145 different chondrichthyan (sharks, batoids and chimaeras) species have been documented to date, with southern Mozambique being recognized as a global hotspot for shark and ray species richness, endemism and evolutionary distinctiveness.
WCS Mozambique is working with the Government of Mozambique and several conservation partners (WWF, FCN-UniLúrio, among others) to collect ecological and fishery data that can be used to inform policy and management of sharks and rays in Mozambique and will ultimately contribute to local communities having ongoing access to vital natural resources and ecosystem services. WCS is providing training to and sharing technical-scientific knowledge with the National Institute for Fisheries Research (IIP), focusing on innovative technologies to improve research and monitoring results that can contribute to the effective protection and management of sharks & rays.