A HEALTHIER OCEAN STARTS WITH LISTENING.
1. Where are the results of the eManta survey?Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of expert divers around the world, the eManta survey results were published in PLoS ONE. PDF
2. How can I contribute to shark and ray, or general ocean conservation and research?
- Contribute a summary of your observations to the survey of this year - the "Global Marine Conservation Survey" (now closed!).
- Contribute your daily ocean observations of sharks, rays, jellyfish, ghost gear, etc. and the zero's, to the eShark survey.
- Become a Partner - Like Shark Guardian and the Great Fiji Shark Count partners, help encourage the people around you to submit observations so your area can be assessed.
- Help others submit their data - There are thousands of un-utilized dive and fishing records - either tied up in people's hand-written log books or in their memories. It is important to get these data before they are lost forever. If you know anyone, for whatever reason, that has data that have not been contributed, you could help them fill in the survey.
- Get trained and get diving - and improve your observations
- Get informed and Share - Share this site, the goals of eOceans and information on the plight of sharks, the impacts of humans on our oceans, and the solutions that everyone of us can contribute to.
3. How can I get involved in the research at eOceans?Everyone has different skill-sets. If you think eOceans | eShark could use yours let us know! Desired help could include statistics, GIS and mapping, database management, website development, increasing education and outreach capacity, and editorial reviews and assistance.
4. How to define depth and habitat types in the eShark database correctly?This is one of the most common questions/concerns I get from Field Teams entering new sites into eShark. I really appreciate that the Field Teams ask these questions and ensure that I have thought things through! I spent the first few years thinking about this question and trying to figure out what made the most sense. Should it be the average, minimum, or maximum depth of the diver, depth of the shark (but what if you see 50 sharks at different depths?), or minimum/maximum substrate depth of the site? I suppose this all comes down to what we are interested in and how it will be used? Therefore, having analyzed these types of data over the years (more than a decade now!) this has become clear to me, and I think it helps to think about it from an ecological and statistical point of view. Since eShark and eOceans is interested in the spatial and temporal distributions of sharks (and other fauna, plus garbage) the depth and habitat of a site should not change - at least not in the timescale that we are monitoring at. Therefore:
Depth is the bottom depth - not the divers depth or depth of the sharks! It is a question of what depth the shark(s) are seeking? Is it inshore, shallow, deep or open water. If for example, if a site is a pinnacle that goes from 0m to -90m, this is a 90 m depth site, even if the divers were at 0m and sharks at 20 m. The combination with habitat type helps refine this further. The visibility and/or whether the sharks are below or above the diver will influence detection and identification, but this is a limitation of this type of data.
Habitat is the dominant one. If a little bit of grass, sand amongst a reef - then it's most likely the reef that the sharks have sought. If a seagrass bed with some coral mixed in, then seagrass is the dominant habitat type.
Reasoning: Here, I take a larger perspective - comparing sites/regions, and depth and habitat type really just help to standardize the data so I can account for differences in effort. For example, if people were diving more on shallow reefs in the 90's and more on deep wrecks in the 2000's, and I see a change in shark populations (species or numbers), then I can perhaps attribute the difference to changes to effort differences, rather than changes to the actual shark populations. The Depth and Habitat, as well as other things (like month, year, bottom time, experience) are all entered in the statistical models to control for differences in diver behaviour (effort) to try to isolate patterns in shark populations.