European Sharks – a project co-funded by the European Union
to safeguard Mediterranean sharks and rays

The LIFE project European Sharks engages citizens and marine professionals in a joint effort to safeguard Mediterranean sharks and rays – by far the most endangered group of marine fish in Europe – threatened by unsustainable levels of accidental captures, pollution and habitat destruction.

LIFE EU Sharks will promote the conservation of protected species and encourage responsible and sustainable interactions with sharks and rays by:

  • training fisheries officers and fishers to reduce mortality of protected species, promoting compliance with EU regulations and improving the quality of data collection
  • testing with fishers voluntary actions to reduce shark and ray bycatch mortality, with an assessment of the socio-economic impact of these solutions
  • promoting shark and ray catch&release among recreational fishers, and better handling techniques to increase post-release survival
  • reducing the risk of entanglement in lost fishing gear with the cooperation of divers
  • tapping into the knowledge of sea users to map important areas for breeding, feeding and migration of shark and rays, and stimulate authorities, policy makers and communities to implement conservation measures
  • increasing public understanding of the essential role that sharks and rays play in the Mediterranean ecosystem, changing the public image from ‘dangerous’ to ‘endangered’, and encouraging the consumption of local and more sustainable seafood

LIFE European Sharks will run from October 2023 to September 2027. It will be implemented in Italy, France, Croatia, Spain and Slovenia, effectively involving the entire Central and Western Mediterranean in the conservation of sharks and rays.


CLIENTE: Commissione Europea – European Climate Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency
DATA: 2023/2027
IMPORTO: Budget totale 2,597,014.12 €; Contributo EU 1,558,208.46 €
PARTNER: D.R.E.Am. Italia, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn con partner in Croazia (Università di Spalato), Francia (Parcu naturale marinu di u Capicorsu è di l’Agriate) e Italia (Acquario di Livorno, Centro di Competenza Distrettuale, D.R.E.AM, Guardia Costiera Italiana, MedSharks, Shoreline e Università di Firenze).