1. ITV Report

Project launches to save endangered sharks in Wales

Angelsharks are a critically endangered species Credit: Ben Wray, Natural Resources Wales

A new project launches today aimed at gathering information about one of the world’s rarest sharks.

The Angel Shark Project: Wales is a collaboration between 12 organisations and led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

They will work with five coastal communities across Wales to gather data on the sharks.

Angelsharks can grow to up to two and a half metres in length and are often found submerged in coastal waters including those around Wales.

The Angelshark, also known as a Monkfish, is a critically endangered species but an increasing number of sightings in recent years has boosted hopes for its future.

The project asks people to report any sightings of the shark either historical or recent.

The areas involved are North Anglesey; the Llŷn Peninsula; Porthmadog to Aberarth; Fishguard to Milford Haven; and Swansea to Porthcawl.

It is hoped the new information will increase understanding of the sharks and help to build a conservation plan.

It is illegal to intentionally disturb, target, injure or kills Angelsharks within 12 nautical miles of Welsh and English coastlines.

The Angel Shark Project are also working with fishermen to advise them on what to do if they accidentally catch an Angelshark including how to release it without causing harm.

We have an exciting opportunity to understand and improve the status of Angelsharks in Wales, which is potentially one of the last strongholds for this amazing shark. Our approach of combining conservation and social science is a method that we hope will provide benefits to both the population of Angelsharks, but also to local communities we’re working with that rely on the ocean for their livelihood.

– Joanna Barker, Marine and Freshwater Project Manager at ZSL