Purse Search Ireland is an exciting fisheries conservation project that involves public participation, so that means you can take part! The project is basicly a massive nationwide search for mermaids’ purses, the eggcases of sharks, skates and rays. We’re hunting for these eggcases because they can provide valuable information on the location of nursery areas for Ireland’s skates and rays.
Information on nursery areas is crucial for effective conservation management and protection of vulnerable species. It’s also important for the sustainable development of our fisheries. So if you are a keen beachcomber and have seen a mermaids’ purse on any shoreline around Ireland, we would love to hear from you!
For details of what to do when you see a purse, click here. If you’d like to do more, you could organise a dedicated eggcase hunt, which provides us with even more information. The more information that we receive from you, the more successful the project will be in terms of being able to provide something positive for marine conservation in Ireland.
There are mermaid’s purse sightings schemes in other countries too, including the Shark Trust’s pioneering Great Eggcase Hunt in the UK and ELMO, the South African Elasmobranch Monitoring Scheme, so if you have found a shark or ray eggcase in these countries please do report your sightings to the marine biologists there. If you are aware of a sightings scheme that has not been listed here, please do let us know about it and we will add the project details to our site.