Sharks ADNe

Assessment of shark and ray diversity along the coast of Gabon by environmental DNA.


François Le Loc’h

Project type



ONG Sea Sheperd Netherlands

Project duration

Start Date

January 1, 2022

End Date

December 31, 2024

Recently developed environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding techniques have the ability to rapidly generate large species inventories that can easily describe differences in marine habitats and community types. Particularly relevant for elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), this approach is being implemented to detect previously unrecognized biodiversity features due to the lack of appropriate sampling methods for these organisms. The objective of this study is to highlight areas of unsuspected high conservation value and to follow the seasonal migrations of these species. In this project, we set out to characterize shark and ray communities along the coast of Gabon through the collection and detection of elasmobranch DNA in seawater. Specifically, we aim to: (i) identify the dominant elasmobranch species; (ii) examine the spatial variation of the community, highlighting areas of particular importance for elasmobranchs; (iii) explore possible temporal patterns over two hydrological seasons.

The team


  • Christophe Leboulanger (UMR MARBEC)
  • Frida Ben Rais Lasram et Sébastien Monchy (UMR LOG)
  • Jean-Daniel Mbega et Nestor Ngoua Aba’A (CENAREST)
  • Floriane Cardiec (WCS)