Scientists from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University have discovered a shark spawning ground within the only known inshore coral reef off Scotland’s waters. Egg-cases from the blackmouth catshark (Galeus melastomus) were discovered nestled within the corals of Mingulay Reef.
Scientists are waiting to hear back from the European Union regarding marine protection status for the newly discovered spawning grounds.
Dr. Lea-Anne Henry of Heriot-Watt University has this to say about marine protection of the area: “Protecting these spawning sites has real economic benefits too. Over 60% of sport anglers target catsharks when they fish this area, which brings in over £140m to the Scottish economy each year.
Sports anglers catch the sharks and release them back in the water, which helps us document and ultimately conserve the populations.”
Find the BBC segment on discovering the spawning grounds here.