Sharks and rays are the species that have suffered the greatest decline in the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean in recent decades, due to overfishing. These species play a vital role in maintaining the balance of the food chain in marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean and beyond, and their decline could have serious ecological consequences.
The instinctive – albeit irrational – fear of them is partly to blame for their negative image; but the harsh reality is that they are very vulnerable species because they are late maturing and slow growing.
The alitan is listed as endangered in the Red Book of Balearic fishes. The main threat is by-catch with longlines and trammel nets. This species used to be very common in Balearic waters, but nowadays it is rare to find it.
With the intention of promoting the recovery of small sharks, in June 2021 an alliance was formalised through the signing of a protocol between the collaborating entities. We also have the collaboration of Balearia and the fishermen’s guilds of Cala Ratjada and Formentera.