Get to know sharks and rays better

Get to know sharks and rays better

The Cape Verde Elasmobranch Conservation Project in the Santa Luzia Marine Reserve aims to fill gaps in the ecology and biology of Cape Verde shark species, in addition to providing data that are essential for defining urgent protection and conservation measures .

Sharks and rays are groups of fish, most threatened with extinction in the marine world. The Cape Verde archipelago is considered one of the last refuges for Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) in West Africa and the North Atlantic Ocean, harboring several species with high threat status.


  • Improve understanding of biology, ecology and status of conservation of Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) that occur in Cape Verde, focusing specifically on two main species, Viola-barba-negra (Glaucostegus cemiculus) and the Atlantic Weasel Shark (Paragaleus pectoralis);
  • Investigate the use and importance of the Marine Reserve of Santa Luzia and areas surrounding the island (São Vicente), as nursery areas for different species of sharks and rays;
  • Mapping the distribution of different species of sharks and rays;
  • Provide essential scientific data for the implementation of effective protection measures by government entities, such as the creation of shark exclusion zones in nursery areas.
Project details
Project title Cape Verde Elasmobranch research and conservation project “Knowing better to protect well”
Target species Glaucostegus cemiculus and Paragaleus pectoralis
National and international technical partners University of Cape Verde, IMAR, US Embassy Praia-Cape Verde, DNA – National Directorate of Environment. SHARCC – Atlantic Shark Research and Conservation Center, Geomar, Ocean Tracking Network
Financial partners Ocean 5, Waitt Foundation, University in Dalhousie
Extinction danger statutes:

Glaucostegus cemiculus, Blackchin Guitarfish in 2019
Glaucostegus cemiculus, Blackchin Guitarfish in 2016
Paragaleus pectoralis, Atlantic Weasel shark in 2009


Traveling exhibition of the project in Secondary Schools (2021)

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