Welcome to our website!

Sharklab Malta is a registered non-profit, voluntary organisation in Malta dedicated to research, education and raising greater awareness about all elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, skates and chimaera) around Malta and within the Mediterranean Sea.

Our main objectives are : increased knowledge about these magnificent animals, better conservation and education.

Elasmobranch numbers around Malta and within the Mediterranean are on a downward spiral, and have been for the last number of years. This is evident by the reduced numbers caught and brought to the market for sale each year and the significant reduction in the number of sightings by boaters and divers.  If nothing changes many species will simply disappear forever. Such an example are blue sharks (Prionace glauca), which used to be a common species throughout the Mediterranean and around the Maltese Islands- their numbers drop by over 90% in the last 10 years alone, to a point where they will not be able to recover.

Sharklab- Malta is determined to make a difference, and turn the tide for these magnificent and important apex predators. Without elasmobranchs in our waters,we will change the way the whole fragile and balanced marine ecosystem works. Sharks play a critical role for all species of marine life;  keeping populations healthy and balanced and controlling diseases, which would otherwise significantly reduce fish populations.

So what can be done to make a difference? We, as the human species, need to change our perception of these animals and implement implement management measures for their conservation. Sharks are not the big-mouthed, slashing toothed man-eaters as so often portrayed in the media. They are critical, amazing, diverse, spectacular and misunderstood. They need to be appreciated and understood for the roles they play in our waters, here around Malta and across the globe.

What is Sharklab Malta doing about it?

Sharklab Malta is undertaking many different activities to try and play a part in making a difference for elasmobranchs. We are collecting catch data from the market in Marsa to gain more information on the range of species caught and brought to the islands. We are, through snorkeling and dive searches, observing species and looking more closely at the habitat around the islands, where years ago many more species used to thrive. We are educating through presentations, conversations and social media to spread the message far and wide that change needs to happen now.