The European Elasmobranch Association’s 12th annual meeting was held from Friday 14th – Monday 16th November at Oceanário de Lisboa aquarium in Lisbon, Portugal.
This year Associação Portuguesa para o Estudo e Conservação de Elasmobrânquios (APECE) hosted the annual meeting which was a weekend of presentations and poster exhibitions by some of the world’s top shark and ray experts.
On Saturday the scientific meeting was opened with a welcome address from EEA President Sarah Fowler and APECE President Nuno Queiroz. Sarah Fowler took the opportunity to announce Heike Zidowitz as her successor as president of EEA. Sarah Fowler is now EEA Vice President.
Sixteen excellent talks were presented at the conference on diverse subjects ranging from the management and conservation of sharks to research projects on their migration and foraging behaviour.
Talks of interest included a fascinating oral presentation on the mercury composition and bioaccumulation in demersal sharks by Heidi Pethybridge all the way from the University of Tasmania. Another engaging talk was Joel Kimber’s presentation on the Elasmobranch cognitive ability.
Posters were also on display throughout the conference and showcased the latest research of 23 shark experts, who were at hand to answer any questions about their findings.
The conference wasn’t all work and no play, with a delicious banquet served to guests on Saturday evening followed by a comical and light hearted auction hosted by João Correia to raise money for the EEA student bursary.
At Friday’s EEA Board Meeting the EEA Committee met to discuss resolutions for 2008 which were then put forward to delegates during the conference to be approved and voted on. Delegates agreed on resolutions regarding the European Community Plan of Action for sharks, recommendations for ICCAT to adopt international shark management measures, support for the EU Commission’s proposals for shark management at the December Fisheries Council and the Conservation of migratory species.
Delegates also took the chance during the EEA meeting to visit the aquarium’s exhibits including the main tank which contained a huge collection of fish including a juvenile Manta Ray, Sandtiger Shark and Sun Fish.
Overall this year’s EEA meeting was a great success, thanks to APECE and Oceanário de Lisboa for their warm hospitality and for organising a fun and informative event.