Filling the Gap of Data-Limited Fish Species in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: A Contribution by Citizen Science
The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea is rapidly changing due to anthropogenic activity and the recent increase of seawater temperature. Citizen science is escalating as an important contributor in the inventory of rare and data-limited species. In this study, we present several records of five data-limited native fish species from the eastern Mediterranean Sea: Alectis alexandrina(Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1817), Ranzania laevis (Pennant, 1776), Dalatias licha (Bonnaterre, 1788), Lophotus lacepede (Giorna, 1809), and Sudis hyalina (Rafinesque, 1810). All of the records were collected by a participatory process involving fishers and validated by associated taxonomic experts of the citizen science programme “Is it Alien to you? Share it!!!”. This study fills an important gap for the distribution of the reported species and signifies the important role of citizen participation as a tool for extending marine biodiversity knowledge and fisheries management in an area with several gaps of knowledge on targeted and non-targeted species.