Conservation and ethical care of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras

The Mission

To advance the conservation and ethical care of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras, by improving husbandry practices, supporting research initiatives, and actively educating the community about the challenges that threaten elasmobranchs.

The Challenge

Elasmobranchs are handled in the field and maintained in laboratories for scientific investigation. Elasmobranchs are maintained in aquaria for education and research. Ensuring that this taxon are handled and displayed in an ethical manner is central to the Elasmobranch Husbandry initiative.

The Solution

Facilitate a free exchange of information between scientists and practitioners who work with elasmobranchs through a discussion group, peer-reviewed husbandry manuals and a community plan of action. You can join the discussion group, review the plan of action and download the husbandry manuals by clicking on the buttons below.


Mark Smith,

Adelaide Zoo

Doug Warmolts

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Dennis Thoney

Vancouver Aquarium

Robert Hueter

Mote Marine Laboratory

Dr. Mike Murray

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Manny Ezcurra

Monterey Bay Aquarium


Alan Henningsen, Alan Marshall, Alison Davidson nee Scarratt, Allan Marshall, Andrew Camoens, Andy Dehart, Andy Stamper, Becky Ellsworth, Beth Firchau, Bobbie Headley, Brent Whitaker, Brian Armitage, Carl Luer, Carlos Bohorquez, Carol Farmer, Carrie Goertz, Cindy Melchiorre, Claude Le Milinaire, Dave Gibson, Dave Powell, David Lai, Dennis Thoney, Diane Hockman, Doug Warmolts, Ellen Carpenter, Eugenie Clark, Forrest Young, Frank Murru, Frank Steslow, Frederick Chua, Gary Hannon, Gary Violetta, George Benz, Gerard Visser, Geremy Cliff, Ginger Hopkins, Glen Pittenger, Gordon McGregor Reid, Greg Bell, Greg Cailliet, Greg Charbeneau, Hans Walters, Heather Koldewey, Heidi Dewar, Henry Mollet, Holly Martel Bourbon, Ilze Berzins, Jack Jewell, Jack Musick, Jackson Andrews, Jane Davis, Jay Hemdale, Jeff Mahon, Jeffrey Carrier, Jennifer Sowash, Jerry Crow, Jim Gelsleichter, Joao Correia, João Falcato Pereira, João Pedro Correia, Joe Choromanski, Joe Groff, John Hewitt, John Morrissey, John O'Sullivan, John Rupp, José Castro, Juan Romero, Juan Sabalones, Julie Packard, Kay Kunze, Ken Goldman, Ken Yates, Kendall Heard, Kevin Bonifas, Kevin Curlee, Kevin Feldheim, Lee Simmons, Mafalda Sousa Pires, Mahmood Shivij, Manny Ezcurra, Manoel Mateus Bueno Gonzalez, Mark Smith, Mark Stetter, Marty Greenwald, Marty Wisner, Mary Camhi, Matt Walker, Max Janse, Mike Crumpler, Mike Murray, Mike Shaw, Mike Walsh, Nancy Walters, Natasha Christie, Nuno Pereira, Pat Garratt, Patricia Palacio, Paul Russell, Paula Powell, Perry Hampton, Pete Mohan, Peter Scott, Randy Hamilton, Ray Davis, Ray Jones, Reid Withrow, Robert Hueter, Robert Rinker, Robin James, Rod Garner, Rolf Williams, Sarah Fowler, Sarah Poynton, Scott Terrel, Scott Terrell, Silvio Heidler, Sonja Fordham, Steve Menzies, Steve Miller, Susanne Riddle, Suzanne Gendron, Tom Mattix, Tom Schmid, and Tony McEwan


Aquatic Environmental Systems, California Academy of Sciences, Chester Zoo, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Dallas World Aquarium, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Dynasty Marine Associates Inc., Florida Aquarium, Florida Marine Aquaculture Inc., Inc. SeaWorld Orlando and Shark Reef Mandalay Bay, International Design for the Environment and Associates, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Mote Marine Laboratory, National Aquarium in Baltimore, National Marine Aquarium, New England Aquarium, New York Aquarium, Núcleo de Pesquisa e Estudo em Chondrichthyes, Oceanário de Lisboa, Ripley's Aquariums, Sea Life (Merlin Entertainments), Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay, Shedd Aquarium, Tenji Inc., The Living Seas, TJP Engineering Inc., Two Oceans Aquarium, and Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center


The Elasmobranch Husbandry Manual: Captive Care of Sharks, Rays and their Relatives is intended to present the current scientific and experiential understanding of the captive care of elasmobranchs in aquarium or research laboratory settings. Some contributions lend themselves to scientific rigor, where material presented is supported by peer-reviewed literature. Other contributions are based, out of necessity, on the collective experience of professional aquarists, because relevant scientific literature is scant or non-existent. The contributors and editors cannot be, and are not, legally, financially or in any other way, responsible for the application of techniques described within the Manual. When undertaking any procedures or techniques outlined in the Manual, it is up to individual workers to assess the unique circumstances of their situation, apply common sense, and subsequently apply any procedures or techniques at their own risk. In all cases, the reader of this Manual is cautioned not to use this handbook as an exact step-by-step guide, but rather as a starting reference point for further case-specific research.