The Critically Endangered Angelshark is estimated to have declined by over 80% in the last 50 years. As part of the second most endangered shark and ray taxa in the world, they are particularly susceptible to fishing and habitat loss due to their coastal habitat preference. After discovering that the Canary Islands (CI) acts as a unique stronghold for Angelsharks, the Angel Shark Project (ASP) conducted research and conservation to better understand and protect this threatened species. The ASP identified key actions needed to secure the future of Angelsharks and secured the inclusion of Angelsharks on the Spanish Endangered Species List through Canary Island and Spanish Governments.
As participants of the Angel Shark Project, the Zoological Society of London will continue to reduce threats to Angelsharks through the implementation of relevant legislation in Canary Island and Spanish policy frameworks over the next three years. This will be achieved by science-based conservation measures that focus on effective protection of critical Angelshark habitats, changes in fishing practices to reduce incidental catch, and increased awareness of ways to enhance survival of Angelsharks caught by engaged fishers.