First announced back in March this year, the UK’s Shark Trust is holding a global shark census – dubbed ‘The Great Shark Snapshot’ – from 24 to 31July this year. Divers around the world are being asked to record all the sharks, skates and rays they encounter during this time and add them to the Shark Trust’s sightings database – The Shark Log.
Sharks and rays are globally threatened across the globe by destructive fishing, habitat loss and the effects of climate change. The information that divers collect during the Great Shark Snapshot will allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes to their populations that might occur, with the aim of helping scientists put effective conservation measures in place.
To contribute to the project, divers need to record every shark, ray and skate see while diving between 24 and 31 July (inclusive) and submit their findings to the Shark Log, preferably with photographs and video footage where possible.
For assistance in species identification, the Shark Trust has produced some ID guides to help, freely available from Shark Trust website, including:
Divers looking to join an existing event can go to the Great Shark Snapshot map to find dives taking place near them. So far, dive centres, clubs and liveaboards in over 25 countries have registered to take part.
For more information visit www.sharktrust.org/the-great-shark-snapshot