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Modelling the distribution of Galeorhinus galeus and Mustelus asterias in the Greater North- and Celtic Seas to provide recommendations for improved shark management under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Modelling the distribution of Galeorhinus galeus and Mustelus asterias in the Greater North- and Celtic Seas to provide recommendations for improved shark management under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive

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Sharks are ecological important inhabitants of most of the world’s oceans and seas. Still their life-history, which is dictated by slow growth rates and late maturity, makes most species, especially demersal- and coastal sharks, prone to exploitation through target- and nontarget fisheries. Another threat is represented by the degradation of marine habitat, including shallow coastal regions, which for many shark species harbor essential nurseries. Recently, threats towards sharks and the connected risks for ecosystem stability, including commercial stocks, find the more frequent attention of shark specific management. Managing marine species with habitats across national boundaries is intricate and requires the access to species specific habitat- and distribution data. This information however is lacking for most sharks, but could be supported by novel techniques in Species Distribution Modelling. Target species for such a model in this study were Tope (Galeorhinus galeus) and Starry Smooth-Hound (Mustelus asterias). Both are migratory sharks in EU waters and would benefit from the identification of important habitats such as nurseries and derived spatial conservation measures. How spatial information can be transformed into species distribution models and further be applied to devise management measures for the target species in EU waters is explored in this study. Focus in management is thereby put on currently central management instruments such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

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OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
AfdelingKust en Zee Management
PartnersNederlandse Elasmobranchen Vereniging
Datum2019-04-04
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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