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Cement Floor
Cement Floor


Healthy populations of sharks and rays are strongly believed to promote healthy and resilient reefs, as well as increase the capacity of a reef to recover from environmental impact events such as storms or coral bleaching. These charismatic species also hold considerable value alive and as part of a flourishing tourism industry in which people are willing to pay to observe, swim or dive with sharks and rays. However in recent decades global populations of these species have declined significantly due to a number of factors, including high demand from the shark fin and manta gill plate trade.

Shark species with some of the most highly valued fins include the hammerhead sharks, oceanic whitetip and whale shark. In fact the IUCN Red List classifies the great and scalloped hammerheads as Endangered, and the oceanic whitetip and whale shark as Vulnerable, with both species of manta ray also listed as Vulnerable. In an effort to control trade and afford better protection for some of the more threatened species of sharks and manta rays, a number were added to CITES Appendix II in 2013.

Recognising these threats and considerations a number of countries, such as Palau and Indonesia, have established sanctuaries to safeguard these important resources for their economic as well as ecological value. ERIC collaborates with Global FinPrint to conduct population assessments and monitoring of sharks and rays in northeast Tobago through the use of Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs). A global multi-institutional project, the aim is to collect and analyse important data in order to facilitate and develop effective conservation management strategies for sharks and rays on national, regional and global scales.

Our sharks and rays programme is conducted under a current Research Permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Tobago House of Assembly. Visit our Permits and Policies page for further information. 

For more information or to discuss BRUV projects please email, or to enquire about our Ecological Expeditions please email

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