talking to Turkish people…

One of the main objectives of the 2005 expedition besides tagging sharks with satellite tags, recognize the animals one by one through photoID, collecting samples of DNA is to get new information to ascertain if “our bay” can be defined, beyond any doubt, as a nursery area for sandbar sharks. There are many things that point in this direction: the sharks seen here are mostly females; many of them seem pregnant; the bay is shallow, there is plenty of fishes but no big predators. The birth of the baby sharks last year seemed to have sealed the subject, but we want other proofs. This is the reason why we never stop asking information to the locals. We struck gold the other day: we met a guy who runs a diving center and whose father was a fisherman. We met them both last night, and he shared his knowledge of sharks in Turkey gathered in a lifetime of fishing mainly for swordfish. His information is extremely precise and important to us: he too affirms that captures and sightings of sharks in Turkey have declined drastically over the past 20 years. This is a global trend and evidently the Mediterranean sea is no exception, but the problem here is that data is even scarcer than in many other places in the world. Information gathered from reliable fishermen can give us important data of how things were in the past, and how they are now. These information are then funnelled into the “Global Shark Assessment”, an international project which MedSharks works for. Besides collecting lots of precious information, we have had once more a display of the hospitality and friendliness of the Turkish people.

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