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The UK Shark Survivorship in Recreational fisheries study is led by the University of Exeter and supported by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Shark Trust.

University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group University in the top 1% of Universities and is a world leader in conservation science with a international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. The University of Exeter has recently been engaged in large scale tagging of highly mobile fish with electronic tags in the seas around the British Isles. The project will be managed by Dr Matthew Witt and Dr Lucy Hawkes, senior researchers in Natural Environment and Physiological Ecology. Between them, Hawkes and Witt have extensive experience tagging coastal sharks and tuna in UK and international waters to better understand the ecology and conservation of threatened species. Project officers Francesco Garzon, Tom Horton and Owen Exeter will be responsible for the implementation and successful delivery of the fieldwork.  


Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Cefas is the UK’s leading marine science organisation, providing evidence, science and advice that underpins fisheries and marine environmental monitoring and policy development. Cefas is an executive agency of Defra with more than 500 staff, with a remit to work alongside government and other agencies, both UK and international, and play a vital role in securing healthy marine and freshwater environments for everyone’s wellbeing, health and prosperity. The project will involve the three Cefas scientists led by Dr David Righton. Their combined expertise in pelagic fisheries, behaviour, and fisheries management will be invaluable to the project. 



Shark Trust UK

The Shark Trust was established in 1997 to provide a voice for sharks, skates and rays in the UK. The organisation is a respected advocate for shark management and protection and part of a global collaborative movement in shark conservation; working to safeguard shark, skate and ray populations through positive change. Without sharks, marine ecosystems face an uncertain future. The Shark Trust push for effective management, enforced protection and responsible trade across the globe. The organisation thrives on collaboration and believes that the combined efforts of scientists, the fishing industry, decision-makers and the public are key to safeguarding shark populations around the world. The Shark Trust will be responsible for the production and distribution of output materials (i.e. best-practice guidelines) to maximise implementation of conservation measures highlighted by the project.

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Plymouth Marine Laboratory

The Plymouth Marine Laboratory PML is an independent research laboratory and registered charity, for over 40 years it has provided evidence-based environmental solutions to societal challenges by applying cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that benefits society and promotes stewardship of marine ecosystems. PML run operational hydrodynamic models of the south-west UK and have extensive experience with remote sensing and coastal monitoring. The project will involve Dr Michael Bedington, who has expertise in lagrangian drift modelling and coastal oceanography. Dr Bedington's expertise will be invaluable to the project, as it will not only aid in the retrieval of electronic tags post-release, but will also give great insight into the environmental conditions encountered and preferred by the sharks tagged in the project.

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