The Shark Trust’s inaugural ‘Great Shark Snapshot‘, held in July this year, has been declared a success, with almost two thousand shark and ray sightings from 49 different species across 14 different countries recorded during the event.
Hundreds of divers took part in the Great Shark Snapshot, with shark and ray survey dives conducted by individuals, dive clubs, liveaboards and dive centres. Reports during the seven days of the survey included 78 scalloped hammerheads seen by Hawaii-based Lahaina Divers, 58 wobbegongs spotted by Sundive Byron Bay in Australia, and five pelagic thresher sharks spotted by Thresher Shark Divers in the Philippines.
Around the UK, the aptly-named Basking Shark Scotland reported seeing basking sharks in Scotland, and blue sharks were spotted by divers from Celtic Deep in Wales.
Renowned liveaboard specialists Aggressor Adventures made an outstanding contribution to the Snapshot, with some 100 divers on five Aggressor liveaboards reporting 459 sightings to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log database.
‘We were delighted to help participate in this year’s Great Shark Snapshot,’ said Cole Watkins, Director of Content Strategy at Aggressor Adventures. ‘Not only did our liveaboard staff enjoy conducting the census, but our customers did as well. We understand that this information is important in maintaining healthy ecosystems and gives a better understanding of how populations of marine species can and do change over time. Aggressor Adventures is looking forward to participating in the Great Shark Snapshot for years to come’
Non-divers were also able to contribute to the survey, with 380 egg cases from eight different species recorded in the Great Eggcase Hunt database.
Caroline Robertson-Brown, marketing coordinator at the Shark Trust said, ‘I am delighted with how our first Great Shark Snapshot has gone. What I loved most was getting so many messages from people saying how much they enjoyed taking part. Many dive centres I have spoken to have now decided to run regular shark and ray survey events and will be adding their sightings to our Shark Log database.’
Dates for the 2023 event will be announced early next year, and the Shark Trust has announced that a new app will soon be available to assist the recording of shark and ray sightings, and egg case finds.
For more information about the Great Shark Snapshot: https://www.sharktrust.org/the-great-shark-snapshot