It was an intense week-end at Milan for the 2012 European Elasmobranch Association meeting. Lots of presentations to listen, lots of friends and collegues to catch up with, and lots and lots of ideas and future collaborations have taken shape in the corridors of the Milan University.
We were there too, presenting our preliminary findings of this project. Out ot 90 questionnaires received, we were able to pinpoint four main hotspots, or breeding areas, around Italy. The real hub seems to be centered around the Gulf of Naples and its islands, but other areas include the Tuscan islands and the Portofino promontory, up in the north of Italy. Most of the east coast of Italy is quite sandy and muddy, hardly the place for nursehounds. But dive professionals say that off Venice, in some weird small reefs formed by the skeletons of living and dead marine animals called "tegnue", mermeid’s purses abound.
We were VERY pleased as many a scientist asked info on how to replicate our project in other seas!