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Blue Shark Tourism Workshop 2024


On 7th May 2024, the MARECO team hosted their third blue shark tourism workshop in Bristol, bringing together swim-with operators from all over the UK and Europe.


MARECO Director, Gonzalo, introduced the workshop with a summary of research outputs from last year and our proposed plans for the 2024 season. These included:


  • Certification on the blue shark Code of Conduct and further training

  • Blue Shark Concerted Action under CMS - developing a global Code of Conduct for blue sharks

  • New non-capture tags to study blue shark behaviour and movements

  • Novel molecular tools for health and population genetics

  • Stereovideo and laser photogrammetry

  • Environmental drivers in blue shark occurrence in the UK

  • Global genomics of blue sharks


This was followed by research updates from Sol and a sneak peak into his results from the stereo lasers, photogrammetry and testing magnets as a deterrent for by-catch. Elin and Neo, then gave updates on their benthic BRUV (Baited Remote Underwater Video) surveys for elasmobranchs in Pembrokeshire, followed by policy updates from Gonzo as a result of our recently adopted Concerted Actions for blue sharks. Gemma then spoke about the process of developing a Code of Conduct for predatory shark diving. This led on nicely to an afternoon of discussions amongst operators relating to the Code of Conduct: what worked, what didn't, individual experiences and how could it be modified/improved to work for everyone.


An updated version of our blue shark Code of Conduct based on workshop discussions in 2024 can be found here.


We had a lovely evening of pizza and drinks - well deserved after a productive day! We would like to give a big thank you to the teams at Celtic Deep, Blue Shark Snorkel, Pembrokeshire Boat Charters and Mako Pako for joining us. We wish you all the best for the season ahead and look forward to joining you (and the blues) in the water!


MARECO team x


MARECO team (Gonzo, Sol, Gemma & Sam)


FIN!

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