The Gulf Elasmo Project is a non-profit initiative based in the United Arab Emirates. Its mission is to advance research, education and conservation of elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, guitarfishes, and sawfishes) in the Arabian Seas region.
The material contained on this website is shared as a public service and to further the scientific goals of the Gulf Elasmo Project. All text and images are the exclusive property of the Gulf Elasmo Project. Information on this website may be used for private study, but may not otherwise be published, duplicated, or modified in any way without the prior written permission of Rima W. Jabado.
The Gulf Elasmo Project aims to gain a better understanding of elasmobranch species, abundance and distribution in the Arabian region. The project was started as part of a PhD study lead by Rima Jabado in the United Arab Emirates. Results from her research indicated that elasmobranchs in the UAE were being targeted not only for local consumption but also for the trade in shark products (especially fins and meat). Her study clearly showed that many species were being heavily exploited and that the fishery was unsustainable. While there are some regulations and management measures across the region to protect certain species, data on most elasmobranchs remains sparse and there is still a lack of understanding of the conservation status of these animals. It is likely that without accurate and scientifically based information to support conservation measures, governments in the region will not prioritise elasmobranch protection.
The 'Gulf', which refers here to the broader Arabian Seas region, including the Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Arabian/Persian Gulf remains understudied with little research being undertaken on the status of the various elasmobranch stocks. In the past decade alone, with only a few projects, range distributions of documented species have been expanded as new data have emerged while new species are still being discovered. Sighting reports through citizen science play a crucial role in monitoring shark and batoid populations in this part of the world by helping evaluate species diversity, abundance and habitat range. Individuals can now help support conservation efforts by reporting their encounters with these animals either underwater or at landing sites. They can be our eyes in the field.
You can download our project brochure and posters below: