Augmentum is supporting the White Shark Chase, a multi-annual research program from leading institutions the likes of Virginia Tech, where an international team of researchers is tracking the last White Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mediterranean white sharks were historically abundant and widely distributed in the region, but centuries of coastal and, more recently, industrial fishing have depleted this population to dangerously low levels of abundance. The IUCN lists this species as Critically Endangered in the Mediterranean Sea. This is the highest level of extinction risk for a species in the wild. Yet information gaps about their current abundance and ecology are hindering conservation efforts.
Professor Francesco Ferretti and his scientific team will embark on a lengthy and unprecedented study to find and track the remaining White Sharks in the region. Building on previous pilot expeditions and statistical models, the team aims to find, film and tag white sharks to collect biological and ecological data in several Mediterranean sectors. This year's first search will be in Tunisia.
The project’s goal is to advance our understanding of the ecology, biology, and life history of the Mediterranean white sharks and use this information to promote conservation actions and avoid the extinction of this population from the region. The project is expected to have major research, conservation, and communication value for the species in the region and globally.