Dive / Snorkel Surveys

Sharklab-Malta members regularly take part in water-based research through snorkeling or diving. Snorkeling research is open to anyone who is confident in water, and can swim. It is supervised by experienced snorkelers. Dive research can only be carried out by certified scuba divers. Fortunately for Sharklab-Malta, we have many very experienced and highly certified divers who are members. Sharklab-Malta owns a number of sets of snorkeling gear and wetsuits and has access, through its increasing network of supporters, to any other equipment required for this research. This allows members who do not own their own equipment to take part in these activities.

 The main objectives of Snorkel and Dive Research are:
  • Identifying and collecting data on elasmobranch living in Maltese waters.
  • Learning about the marine habitats around the Islands.
  • Taking pictures as a record of elasmobranch and the other marine life around the Islands to accurately log sightings.
  • To have fun exploring new areas of water and often un-dived locations.
  • To have a greater appreciation of our marine environment.
  • Water-based research allows members to learn all about what goes on under the surface of the waters around the Maltese Islands.
 Snorkel and dive research takes place all year round, when the weather allows (which is most of the time) and members get the opportunity to take part in these regular activities. Through this study we have made same great discoveries and members have personally seen, during research activities, a number of different elasmobranchs:
Common Stingrays (Dasyatis pastinica)
Marbled/Spotted Torpedo Rays (Torpedo marmorata)
Common Torpedo Rays (Torpedo torpedo)
Roughtail Stingray (Dasyatis centroura)
Bull Rays (Aetomylaeus bovinus)
We also have reliable information on local sightings of Common Eagle Rays (Myliobatis aquila) and the Giant Devil Ray (Mobula mobular) from local divers and friends of Sharklab-Malta and we hope to see these ourselves during future research.
We have only received a few reports of sightings of sharks, but they are very difficult to validate as they are often only a quick glimpse of something passing by. Unfortunately, the encounter of sharks close to shore  is very rare.
Some of the areas we have dived or snorkeled recently include:
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Golden Bay
Cirkewwa (various areas)
Mistra Bay
Zonqor Point
St Thomas Bay
Mellieha Bay (Ghadira)
Anchor Bay
Bahar Ic-Caghaq
Gnejna Bay
Xrobb L-Ghajn
This list does not cover everywhere we have been, but is just an example of some locations explored, all of them interesting in their own particular way. Details are carefully logged, and pictures are taken for reference during, and after, all research snorkels and dives.
So far, we have not extended our regular range of research to Gozo and Comino, but it is planned, in the not too distant future.
If you are a snorkeler or diver, and would like to get involved with the research throughout the Islands with Sharklab-Malta, then please get in touch with us. Become a member and you will automatically be invited to participate in all research activities. Details of how to become a member can be found on the link on the home page.
If you want any more information, then please get in touch with us.

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