Scientific research

Save The Med's research programmes aim to increase the current knowledge of potentially vulnerable species in the Mediterranean in order to protect them and their habitats. 

A study for the conservation of the Spinetail devil ray in the Mediterranean

The Spinetail devil ray (Mobula mobular) is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as endangered in the Mediterranean. As a result of the knowledge accumulated by Save The Med in recent years about their presence and behaviour in the Balearic Sea, we are launching the a new research project which could constitute a key element for the development of a conservation strategy of elasmobranchs.


There is little information on the biology and ecology of the species in the Mediterranean. However, thanks to telemetry tracking techniques (satellite tags) and the increase in sighting capacity, work is being done to fill existing data gaps. With the Balearic Sea being an optimal area for the research of the species, this project will allow us to deepen our knowledge of these mysterious animals. 


The main objectives of the project are: to examine the migration patterns and vertical movements of the species, collect DNA samples to characterise the Mediterranean population, document their reproductive behaviour and develop risk maps: areas of interaction between mantas and human activities such as the fishing, boating or pollution. 


The information obtained during the project is crucial for the design of an appropriate conservation strategy for the species which will contribute to the regeneration of the Mediterranean. Another priority objective is to obtain an image bank and share the beauty of these majestic animals in order to raise awareness about the importance of conserving our natural heritage.



A study for the conservation of the Spinetail devil ray in the Mediterranean

Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan

Most of the sharks and rays of the Mediterranean face an elevated risk of extinction. Living in coastal waters and growing to over 1.5 metres long, angel sharks are at risk from fishing and habitat degradation.

Three species of Critically Endangered angel sharks are present in the Mediterranean – Sawback Angelshark Squatina aculeata, Smoothback Angelshark Squatina oculata, and Angelshark Squatina squatina. With over 20 coastal states and territories, the complex nature of the Mediterranean creates further need for highly collaborative action to build capacity for angel shark conservation.  In this context, the recently launched Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan provides a framework for conservation action for angel sharks in the Mediterranean. 

Save the Med Foundation has contributed to the development of said Action Plan, that has been led by the Shark Trust and has counted with the participation of an array of organisations from within the Angel Shark Conservation Network and across the Mediterranean, as well as with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Specially Protected Areas Regional Activity Centre (SPA/RAC). This roadmap is designed to focus efforts to help restore these enigmatic species to robust populations in the region. 

Read the full press release here and download the Action Plan below the image. 

Mediterranean Angel Sharks: Regional Action Plan

Bridging the gap between science and local communities

All our projects include an multimedia aspect, where obtained footage is used in the development of engaging education and outreach materials that help bridge the gap between science and local communities. 


Bridging the gap between science and local communities