Chondrichthyes (sharks, rays, skates and chimaeras) are among the oldest extant predators and are vital to top-down regulation of oceanic ecosystems. They are an ecologically diverse group occupying a wide range of habitats and are thus, exploited by coastal, pelagic and deep-water fishing industries. Chondrichthyes are among the most data deficient vertebrate species groups making design and implementation of regulatory and conservation measures challenging. High-throughput sequencing technologies have significantly propelled ecological investigations and understanding of marine and terrestrial species' populations, but there remains a paucity of NGS based research on chondrichthyan populations. We present a brief review of current methods to access genomic and metagenomic data from Chondrichthyes and discuss applications of these datasets to increase our understanding of chondrichthyan taxonomy, evolution, ecology and population structures. Last, we consider opportunities and challenges offered by genomic studies for conservation and management of chondrichthyan populations.
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