Welcome to the Sharklab Malta Website.
Sharklab Malta is a registered NGO in Malta and is a non-profit voluntary organisation dedicated to research, education and raising greater awareness about all Elasmobranch (Sharks, Rays, Skates and Chimaeras) around Malta and within the Mediterranean.
Our main objectives are : to find as much as we can about these magnificent animals, which of these call our waters home, which travel through our waters, and most importantly, which of these species need our help to continue to survive here.
Elasmobranch numbers around Malta and within the Mediterranean are on a downward spiral, and have been for the last number of years. This is evident by the reduced numbers caught and brought to the market for sale each year and the significant reduction in the number of sightings by boaters and divers. If change doesn’t happen soon then many species will simply disappear forever.
Blue Sharks, which used to be a common species throughout the Mediterranean and around the Maltese Islands, have seen their numbers drop by over 90% in the last 10 years alone. This is almost to a point where they will not be able to recover.
Sharklab Malta is determined to make a difference, and turn the tide for these magnificent and important apex predators. Without Elasmobranch in our waters, not only will we never see them return, but we will also change the way the whole fragile and balanced marine ecosystem works. Sitting as apex predators, at the top of the food chain, they play a critical role for all species of marine life; keeping populations healthy and balanced; controlling disease, which would otherwise significantly reduce fish populations and maintain balanced numbers. These are just a some of the roles these amazing creatures play.
So what can be done to make a difference? We, as the human species, need to change our perception of these animals. They are not the big-mouthed, slashing toothed man-eaters so often portrayed in the media. They are critical, amazing, diverse, spectacular and misunderstood. They need to be appreciated and understood for the roles they play in our waters, here around Malta and across the globe.
What is Sharklab Malta doing about it?
Sharklab Malta is undertaking many different activities to try and play a part in making a difference for Elasmobranch. We are collecting catch data from the market in Valletta to gain more information on the range of species caught and brought to the islands. We are, through snorkelling and dive searches, observing species and looking more closely at the habitat around the islands where years ago many more species used to thrive. We are educating through presentations and we are keeping Elasmobranch in conversations and in media to spread the message far and wide that differences need to happen now.