Participant Information Sheet

Research project title

Assessing countries’ background, set-up, role, and approach to shark conservation

You are being invited to take part in this research project.  In order to inform you about the purpose of this research, kindly take a few minutes to read this information sheet. It is important you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please ask us if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for reading this.

Project’s purpose

This research project aims to determine the legal obligations of countries in regard to shark conservation and management, and how countries approach their implementation on ground. Based on this assessment, the project will identify best practices and available measures to support and guide countries that require such and are interested in improving shark conservation within their waters.

This project is conducted as PhD programme at the University of Plymouth by doctoral student Lydia Koehler.

Selection criteria for the interview

You have been chosen because you are working for an organisation/entity/institute of interest for this research project and therefore can provide valuable information in relation to shark conservation and management within your country.


It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do decide to take part, you will be able to keep a copy of this information sheet and you should indicate your agreement to the consent form. You can still withdraw your response within one month after completion of the survey/date of interview.  You do not have to give a reason.


You will be asked to complete a web-based questionnaire/interview which will take you approximately 30-45 minutes. You may also wish to agree to a follow-up interview to find out more about your approach.


Please answer the questions in the questionnaire/interview. There are no other commitments associated with participating.

Type of information we are after

The questionnaire will ask you about past, current and planned measures and initiatives related to shark conservation and management in your country, as well as legal obligations, state of knowledge and functional processes, which may include financial information.  This shall be answered on behalf of the organisation/entity/institute you are representing.

Possible disadvantages and risks

Participating in the research is not anticipated to cause you any disadvantages or discomfort.

Potential benefits

If you wish to be informed about the outcomes of this study, then you will be informed of any publication resulting from this project.

In case of termination of the project

Should the research stop earlier than planned or be terminated for any reason, you will be informed, and your responses will be deleted.

Confidentiality and Data storage

All the information that is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. No personal details (e.g. name, contact details) will be published in any reports or publications. The institution on whose behalf you are answering however might be mentioned within the PhD thesis and related publications.

Survey responses will be stored on secured locations (password -protected laptop of the lead researcher (PhD student), University’s student One Drive account and encrypted, back-up external hard drive). Data will only be made available to the lead researcher and her supervisors.

Interview recording

Interviews may be recorded for which prior consent from you is required.

What will happen to the results of the research project?

Results of the research are intended to be published. Publication of results may include the PhD thesis, journal articles, online platforms and conference presentations. If you wish to be given a copy of any publication resulting from the research, please ask us to put you on our circulation list.

Ethical review

This project has been ethically approved and endorsed by the University of Plymouth Ethics Committee, which monitors the application and delivery of the University’s Ethics procedures and requirements.

Research Team and contacts for further information

PhD Student: Lydia Koehler (lydia.koehler(at)

Director of Studies: Jason Lowther

2nd Supervisor: Dr. Simone Schroff

3rd Supervisor: Joanne Sellick

Please send all queries to Lydia Koehler.