Shark and ray provisioning functional insights into behavioral, ecological and physiological responses across multiple scales

Pierpaolo F. Brena*, Johann Mourier, Serge Planes, Eric Clua

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


The use of olfactory stimuli and the provision of food are a common practice to prompt artificial aggregations of emblematic wild species and ensure the economic viability of the wildlife-watching industry. Several elasmobranch species have been targeted by such operations in a variety of locations for over 4 decades. A recent review succinctly addressed the potential effects of shark diving tourism, including shark provisioning, on shark individual behavior and ecology, but the paucity of data on the ecology of elasmobranchs precluded general statements. By using a functional framework, we reviewed the findings of the 22 available studies that investigated the behavioral, physiological, and ecological response of 14 shark and 3 ray species targeted by artificial provisioning. Focusing on the underlying processes that rule the response of targeted elasmobranch species, we report further effects acting beyond the individual scale. We suggest that the most commonly described alterations of individual movement patterns have cascading effects through the group and community scales, ultimately resulting in altered health condition and individual behavior toward humans. We conclude by stressing the potential for provisioning activities to support the investigation of complex ecological and behavioral processes in elasmobranchs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

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  • Anthropogenic disturbance
  • Ecological effects
  • Management
  • Non-consumptive exploitation
  • Shark conservation
  • Wildlife provisioning


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