Shark fisheries have expanded dramatically in size and number around the world since the mid-1980s, primarily in response to the rapidly increasing demand for shark fins, meat and cartilage. Despite the boom-and-bust nature of virtually all shark fisheries over the past century, most shark fisheries today still lack monitoring or management (6). The Mediterranean region is known to be an important habitat for cartilaginous fish and is thought to encompass unique breeding grounds for species such as the White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and Thornback Ray (Raja clavata). It may be surprising then that there is insufficient information for the majority of (up to 70%) Mediterranean species. Further research on the ecological status and exploitation of these populations is urgently needed.
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