Angelsharks (Squatina squatina) are large, flat-bodied sharks that can reach 2.4m in length belonging to the angel shark family (Squatinidae), which rank as the second most threatened family of elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) in the world. Angelsharks are normally found submerged in sandy habitats in coastal waters.
In Wales, Angelsharks are also known as monkfish or angel fish, and they are sometimes mistaken for a ray or mis-recorded as Anglerfish.
Check out at www.angelsharknetwork.com to understand major threats and conservation projects for the angel shark family across their range.
IMPORTANCE OF WALES FOR ANGELSHARKS
There are at least 23 species of angel shark, which form one of the most threatened family of sharks, skates and rays in the world (Squatinidae). The Angelshark (Squatina squatina) is the only angel shark species present in Atlantic waters of north-west Europe and is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Although there has been a reduction in Angelshark distribution in other parts of north-west Europe, including that recently documented in Ireland and the southern North Sea, Angelsharks are still present in Wales and have been regularly reported in the Welsh Zone throughout the last decade.
HOW ARE ANGELSHARKS PROTECTED IN WALES