Building Capacity for the Conservation of Sharks and Rays in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Shark Coalition (CSC) was founded in 2020



The Caribbean Shark Coalition (CSC) was founded in 2020 in response to international calls for enhanced, collaborative conservation efforts for sharks and rays in the Greater Caribbean region.

The CSC is a collection of member experts from NGOs, local communities, intergovernmental organizations and governments, academia, and policy institutes working together to advance the study and conservation of sharks and rays found in the waters of the Greater Caribbean. 

We have three primary goals:

  • To foster collaboration in shark and ray research, policy, and capacity building for conservation among stakeholders in the region, and to provide opportunities for knowledge transfer and data synthesis
  • To safeguard the long-term health of shark and ray populations in the region, and to promote the protection of critical habitat
  • To promote a sustainable future for these species as well as human livelihoods who depend on them

Working with local scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations and governments, we target capacity building for filling critical knowledge gaps through science, as well as the advancement of specific conservation actions.

The CSC will seek to obtain funding for collaborative work and to issue grants to CSC-member projects. The CSC will represent the interests and goals of members and, more broadly, sharks and ray species of the Caribbean at the UN (UNEP-CEP and the Regional Activity Center for the SPAW Protocols of the Cartagena Convention [the only binding treaty for the conservation of the Caribbean Sea]), IUCN-Caribbean, CITES, CMS, CBD, and other international gatherings.

Our Vision

  • The Caribbean plays a key role in advancing the global target of 30% of protected ocean by 2030, by focusing on advancing marine protected areas for sharks and rays
  • Shark and ray conservation is effectively addressed in ongoing and future area conservation and species management plans for countries and territories in the Greater Caribbean region
  • Greater collaboration and capacity building is fostered among and between actors and stakeholders in the Greater Caribbean region

OUR work

Our current priorities are ensuring that:

Members will be categorized into chapters according to the following regions:

All participatory members are expected to:

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founding team

Tadzio Bervoets

Tadzio Bervoets was born on St. Maarten and from an early age had an affinity for nature, particularly the sea. He is a marine biologist and has worked on Caribbean conservation projects for over 10 years. He is currently the Executive Director at Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA). Read more >>Read less >>

Supported by island park management authorities, DCNA Board members and secretariat, Tadzio leads efforts to build ties not only within the Dutch Caribbean, but regionally and internationally, developing strong working relationships with the Dutch Ministries and top tier conservation organizations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Bird Conservation Netherlands and the World Wildlife Fund. He is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and sits on the Science and Policy Advisory Board of Beneath the Waves. He previously worked as the manager of the St. Maarten Nature Foundation for 10 years, and holds Bachelor degrees in International Relations and Geo Management from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami, and a Master’s degree from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in environmental resource management with a specialty in coral reef ecosystems.

Austin Gallagher, PhD

Dr. Austin Gallagher is a marine biologist and NGO leader, working at the intersection of applied conservation and public-private sector partnerships. He is the Chief Executive and lead scientist at Beneath the Waves, and has been involved in Caribbean research for over 10 years, currently… Read more >>Read less >>

maintaining collaborative shark conservation research projects with local authorities and governments in numerous 6 Caribbean nations and U.K. Overseas Territories. Gallagher has published extensively on Caribbean shark behavior, reef ecology and biodiversity, and marine protected areas, and has worked with decision-makers to inform national and regional management. He is a National Geographic Explorer, Fulbright Scholar, and Honorary Adjunct Professor at The University of Exeter (UK) and Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University (USA). He is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club, has spoken about ocean conservation at venues worldwide, sits on the Editorial Board of the journal Endangered Species Research, and serves as an advisor to governments, international organizations, media productions, and large-scale corporations interested in sustainability. 


Interested in joining the Coalition? 

Please reach out with your contact information and we will be in touch soon.


P.O. Box 412
Kralendijk, Bonaire
Dutch Caribbean



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