Terms related to shark conservation, fisheries & marine protection briefly explained.




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Biotechnology is the science of using enzymes, cells, and other organisms in a technological practice. This way, scientists try to find more economic ways to produce chemical compounds.     

Blue Carbon

Maritime ecosystems are estimated to be able to store up to 20 times as much CO2 as forests on land.


Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) is a system used in marine biology research. By attracting fish into the field of view of a remote camera, the technology records fish diversity, numbers and species behaviour.


In fisheries, by-catch is the term used to describe those fish and other marine animals that are caught by fishing gear, such as nets or other mass fishing gear, but are not the actual target of the catch. Often the bycatch is discarded dead or dying into the sea. Which makes it very difficult to accurately determine by-catch rates.


California Current

Cold-water current flowing along the west coast of North America. The upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water is the main reason for the high biodiversity off Guadalupe's coasts.


International convention to regulate and limit trade of endangered plant and animal species. Currently, the trade of 19 shark species is regulated.



A water trap used to attract and catch large sharks with baited hooks. They are usually used near popular bathing beaches to reduce the number of sharks in the vicinity and thus the likelihood of shark attacks.



Environmental-DNA (eDNA): is organismal DNA that can be found in the environment. It originates from cellular material shed by organisms (via skin, excrement, etc.) into the environment. It is especially used by marine biologists to investigate species composition and distribution. 


The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is working to secure a world where natural habitats and environments can sustain, and be sustained by, the communities that depend upon them for their basic needs and livelihoods.


The sole natural occurrence of animal or plant species in a geographically isolated area, commonly found on islands. These species are often threatened by human encroachment on their habitat.



A fish aggregating device (FAD) is a man-made object used to attract pelagic marine fish such as marlin, tuna and mahi-mahi (dolphin fish). They usually consist of buoys or floats attached to the seabed with concrete blocks. FADs attract fish for numerous reasons, which vary depending on the species.


Cutting off the fins and throwing the shark, often still alive, back into the water. Shark finning is about maximizing space and, therefore, profit. The fins are worth much more than the rest of the carcass, although they only make up a small percentage of the total body weight.

Fins Naturally Attached

The whole shark has to be landed by fishermen, not just its fins.

Fisheries management

There are four large fishery management organizations worldwide, RFMOs (Regional Fishery Management Organizations) for short: they look after the conservation and protection of tuna stocks and other deep-sea fish species, as well as sharks. In the Atlantic, the ICAAT (International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Thuna) is responsible. Sharkproject is an observer at the ICCAT and participates in all meetings. In addition, there are numerous smaller fisheries' management organizations for almost every region in the world, including the Mediterranean.

Fishing quotas

The debate on fisheries is dominated by many acronyms. The most important is the TAC (Total Allowable Catch), the set total allowable catch for a species in a region.


Global Shark Attack File

The Global Shark Attack File (GSAF) at the Florida Museum of Natural History is a worldwide collaboration of scientists studying shark behaviour and shark-human interaction. The GSAF collects and analyses current and historical data from shark accidents.


The aim of the project is to use new tags to obtain more detailed knowledge about the migrations of great white sharks and, based on this, to establish no-fishing zones in cooperation with certain institutions.



The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for the management and conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas.


A global database on shark attacks


Red List - Scientific evaluation of the extinction risk for animal and plant species produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The conservation status of individual species is expressed through the allocation of risk categories.


Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is one of the biggest threats to fish stocks worldwide.



Large seaweed belonging to the brown algae, specifically the order Laminariales. There are about 30 different genera and the alga is found in cooler coastal regions.



Genetic alteration that occurs in sharks, among others. As a result of the pigment disorder, the shark's skin no longer has its specific camouflage, but is mostly spotted grey-white.



Plastic decomposes. Depending on the product, this can take several hundred years. But watch out. Plastic does not dissolve, it has "only" decomposed into so-called microplastics. The smallest particles that ultimately end up in our waters, rivers and oceans.


MinION and MinION Mk1C — Powerful, portable, real-time DNA and RNA sequencing devices, putting you in control of your sequencing data


With this measure, certain areas in international waters and also in territorial waters of coastal states are placed under protection. Human intervention and the use of the areas will either be completely prohibited or at least regulated in such a way that, among other things, the ecosystems are not sustainably damaged.


Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a global environmental seal for wild fish. MSC-labelled fish products should come from sustainable, environmentally friendly fisheries.



DNA consists of the so-called nucleotides, which determine the physical structure (blueprint) of every living being. ONT has developed a method to quickly read the code of the DNA. A single strand of DNA (ssDNA) is passed through a tiny hole called a "pore". As it passes through, the voltage at this pore is changed. The change in this voltage is specific to each of the nucleotides, making the sequence recognizable.

This technique is so robust that DNA sequencing no longer needs to be performed only in the laboratory. Today, nanopore sequencers are even in use in Antarctica. Strapped on by researchers looking for microbial communities - in other words, in one of the most inhospitable areas of our planet. And this technology has also been successfully used on the International Space Station to extract RNA molecules!

The device fits in one hand and costs a little more than the latest iPhone. This Nanopore sequencer is capable of producing 30 GB of data in real time. Thus, among other things, the human genome can be decoded in a few hours.



Independent expert who monitors compliance with applicable regulations and legislation. Furthermore, they are usually the only independent source of data (catch composition, bycatch, fishing gear, etc.). Another task is the documentation of violations, such as disregarding catch quotas, catching prohibited species or using illegal fishing methods. To this end, they accompany individual vessels or fleets at sea, from a few days to several months. Observers are usually provided by independent observer programmes, a government agency or external clients.



Seals, a taxon of marine mammals. Guadalupe is home to three species: Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris), Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi), and California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus).

Purse seine

Purse seine = These are nets that are set in a ring around schools of fish. In deep-sea fishing, these can be up to 2000 metres long and 200 metres high. The schools of fish are located by means of echo sounding. As soon as the shoal is encircled, the net is pulled tight at the bottom with lines. The contents of the net are then brought on board with pumps.



Regional Fisheries Management Organisations are the international organisations that regulate regional fishing activities on the high seas.


Shark Safe Barrier

At least two pipe segments connected by chains and thimbles and additionally secured by wires and ropes. Permanent magnets are installed inside these pipe segments.


Squalane is hydrated Squalene with the formula C30H62.  

Squalene oxidates very easily, that’s why it is hydrated to Squalane, as you see in the formula. This way it’s more stable and can be transported easier.  


Squalene is a hydrocarbon with the formula C30H50.  

Squalene oxidates very easily, that’s why it is hydrated to Squalane, as you see in the formula. This way it’s more stable and can be transported easier.  

Template Glossary Word

SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals are objectives defined by the UN (United Nations) to ensure sustainable development on an ecological, social and economic level.



The VEMCO Mobile Transceiver (VMT) is a hybrid between a 69 kHz coded transmitter and a 69 kHz monitoring receiver (similar to the VR2W-69 kHz). It can be externally tethered to an animal and is capable of detecting all VEMCO-encoded transmitters at 69 kHz. The VMT also behaves as a VEMCO-encoded transmitter and can be detected by other VEMCO receivers. The VMT can also detect other tagged fish in its presence.


White Shark Café

Aggregation point of Great White Sharks in the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Baja California and Hawaii



The South African Rand (currency abbreviation ZAR) is the official currency in the Republic of South Africa.