EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future.
Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database.
Since 2017 and inspired by the work of Sharklab-Malta, Fundación Oceanogràfic and Associació Lamna have collaborated on the Elasmobranch Bycatch Project aiming to rescue otherwise discarded shark and ray eggs and give them a second chance at survival.
Sharks and rays are among the most threatened vertebrates of the world. Every day, hundreds of sharks are fished with viable eggs inside, or eggs already laid are accidentally removed from the sea when caught in different fishing gears. This project focuses on repairing the broken cycle: via close communication with local fishermen communities, they recover the eggs, keep them in tanks under appropriate temperature, water quality and lighting conditions. After an average of three months, embryonic development is completed, and the newborns are ready to be released back to the sea where food and shelter are available.
This project allows the project team to contribute to the conservation of elasmobranchs in three key ways:
encapsulating the three objectives of Foundation Oceanogràfic and the EAZA community - Conservation, Research, and Outreach.
Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.