The 13th annual European Elasmobranch Association (EEA) conference was hosted this year by the Natural History Society of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, from Wednesday 19th – Sunday 22nd November.
The EEA Conference provided an opportunity for a diverse range of member organisations to exchange ideas and research, and forge links to promote shark, skate and ray conservation throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Some forty speakers presented at this year’s conference, on topics including elasmobranch taxonomy, biology, management and conservation, fisheries and ecology. Attendees were equally wide-ranging, with representatives from Ireland and the UK, Europe, West and North Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australia and Central and North America.
Keynote speakers included Dr Peter Last – Senior Principal Research Scientist with Australia’s CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. Dr Last detailed his team’s progress in surveying elasmobranch populations in Borneo – a huge geographical area with a large, and often poorly documented diversity of shark and ray species. The second keynote speaker, Dr Jack Musick of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science presented work on chondrichthyan (cartilaginous fish) reproduction, stressing the view that viviparity – the reproductive mode in which the mother gives birth to live young – is the forerunner to all other modes of reproduction.