Sofia Graça Aranha

Sofia Graça Aranha
Universidade do Algarve | UALG · Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR)

PhD Student
Studying the ecology of deep-water elasmobranchs and their susceptibility to bottom-trawl fisheries discards.


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Biologist and PhD student in Environmental and Marine sciences, holding a M.Sc in Marine and Coastal Systems and a post graduate degree in Marine Environmental Management. I currently work with the ecology and ecophysiology of deep-sea chondrichthyes in the south coast of Portugal. Ciencia Vitae iD: AA1C-EB0A-3F61 ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3664-6896
Additional affiliations
January 2020 - March 2021
Universidade do Algarve
  • PhD Student
  • PhD student with a scholarship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology. Project leader of project DELASMOP funded by the Save our Seas Foundation # SOSF 501 - DELASMOP: is it possible for deep-sea sharks and rays to thrive and survive in fishing grounds? Co-PI of the project EMREP funded by the EEA Grants Portugal # PT-Innovation_0007 - The development of Electronic Monitoring and Reporting (EMR) technology for fisheries in Portugal (EMREP)
February 2008 - November 2009
Rio de Janeiro State University
  • Intern
February 2006 - February 2008
Universidade Santa Úrsula
  • Intern


Publication (1)
Full-text available
Skates, Chondrichthyes fishes from order Rajiformes, are the most species-rich group of all Batoidea. However, their phylogenetic relationships and systematics is still a highly discussed and controversial subject. The use of complete mitogenome has shown to be a promising tool to fill this gap of knowledge. Here, the complete mitogenome of the Ibe...


Questions (2)
I am developing a stable isotope analysis project at southern coast of Portugal and I need to collect muscle sample from small deep sea sharks such as Etmopterus spinax, Etmopterus pusillus, Scyliorhinus canicula and Galeus Melastomus.
I need to get muscle samples from these sharks but they will be alive and will be released afterwards. How can I do this without harming too much the shark?
I need more information on shark interaction with divers during provisioned and non-provisioned dives. The names and terms used to identify their behaviors.
Thank you


Cited By


Projects (4)
DELASMOP’s ultimate goal is to provide procedures to reduce the catch and mortality of the most common deep-sea elasmobranchs (DSE) discarded by crustacean bottom-trawl fisheries (CBT) in the Northeast Atlantic. To accomplish this goal, we will evaluate the frequency of bycatch, immediate and post-release mortality of DSE from CBT related with fishing activities. We hypothesize that their mortality rates will be high according with data from a preliminary study conducted off the Southwest coast of Portugal by the DELASMOP team in 2018. Moreover, from this same study it was found that some DSE feed on crustaceans targeted by CBT, which may increase their chances of being caught. We will use a non-lethal approach to identify the main prey assimilated by DSE. We will integrate Research, Conservation, and Education to propose better handling practices on board and contribute to the implementation of proper management measures.
Project EMREP’s main goal is to improve fishing data collection and reporting capabilities by modernizing electronic data management systems to maximize the potential benefits from the Blue Economy. Three main activities will be conducted in this project, namely i) stakeholder engagement and requirement analysis; ii) development and customization of Electronic Data collection and Reporting tools (iEMR); and iii) field testing and application of iEMR for scientific purposes. This will be achieved by, customising, deploying and testing the Olrac electronic fishing logbook from the promotor company OLSPS. Olrac will collect detailed operational and environmental data coupled with gear sensors (e.g. sea temperature, depth and salinity) and synchronize it with video footage and images collected using onboard cameras from the Norwegian partner company Imenco. The collection of this data is crucial to form part of a PhD study from the partner University of Algarve, which will evaluate the bycatch of elasmobranchs from CBT in the south of Portugal. Not only will the customized Olrac iEMR will improve the quality of fisheries data for scientific and control purposes, but fishers will also benefit from a more selective fishery through a bycatch avoidance tool, and a more cost-effective system compared to industry funded at-sea observers, and the existing compliant paper and electronic logbooks. Furthermore, project EMREP will complies with the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive by including explicit targets to bring about more accurate, comprehensive, and timely data through a process of automation and standardization of both self-reported vessel data and at sea monitoring.
The main goal of this project is to evaluate the nutritional condition and survival rates of the most frequently discarded deep-sea elasmobranchs species by crustacean bottom-trawlers off southern Portugal.