One of the "rarest" sharks in the world, the angelfish, was discovered by fishermen off the Welsh coast – a promising sign of life for the critically endangered creature.
The "shallow" sharks, which typically occur along the seafloor, were recently reported in Cardigan Bay, the Bristol Channel and near Holyhead. As the shark shark population continues to decline dramatically, researchers decided to investigate.
Last year, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) launched the "Angel Shark Project: Wales" to encourage people to contact them when they discover the marine animal. On Thursday, groups asked residents to exchange photos and memories of endangered species during their first Angelshark History Roadshow.
" Angel sharks are important to the marine environment as they are a top predator and are listed as the fifth most evolutionary-unique and globally endangered shark in the world, representing a particular branch of the tree of life. "The ZSL states on its website that the Welsh coast may be an important home for the species."
"If we lose the angelfish, we lose a really important line of evolutionary history that we can not get from any other shark species. "
Angling sharks were quite common in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas, but a disrupted habitat, pollution and overfishing have all contributed to their demise, says ZSL The scientists hope that recent sightings will provide clues to behavior and behavior […] "If we lose the angelfish, we lose a really important lineage of evolutionary history. We can not get another shark species," said Joanna Barker, a marine biologist who works for the ZSL, opposite to BBC News.
Barker has been studying the sharks for some time, especially in the Canary Islands, but now she is immersing herself in her story in Welsh waters, and after recent sightings she is curious about which Locations sharks call at home and if there are different populations I want to try To understand what kind of numbers they are and where their key habitats are, there could be some really critical areas for fishing in Wales, "Barker said.
To further investigate the rare sharks Barker said the researchers would skin smears on the dives planned for this year.
Until then, marine experts hope to get even more information about the angel sharks from locals – their photos and stories help to trace the movements of the species off the coast of Wales.