The Indo-Pacific region contains some of the world's most important diversity 'hotspots' that include
some amazing shark and ray species. However, scientific knowledge of sharks and rays in the region is patchy. SCUBA divers, acting as citizen scientists, can help fill in the blanks.
SharkSearch Indo-Pacific is collecting shark and ray photographs
from divers across the Indo-Pacific region to help us build accurate and verified shark and ray species catalogs - species checklists - for every country and territory. Each checklist will also include information on their conservation status.
Shark Search-IndoPacific is a long-term programme for the sustainable use, conservation and management of sharks and rays in the Indo-Pacific region, especially for the little known but incredibly important coastal fisheries. While sharks and rays are vital to many communities, many sharks and rays around the world are threatened by overfishing and habitat loss. Furthermore, we have very little information about sharks and rays in the Indo-Pacific, and our species lists are incomplete.
Shark Search begins by finding out which sharks and rays occur in each country, a process that is tapping into the valuable data stored in people's heads, in their journals, and on photographer's SD cards and hard-drives. Using this reference point, Shark Search then begins a process of planning and project development with our Programme Partners and in-country partners to implement meaningful on-ground activities designed to promote sustainable use and ensure conservation of sharks and rays in project locations. Sharks Search will use an Inter-disciplinary approach to make sure projects consider the social, cultural, economic and environmental/ecological complexity of these systems, and will work with local people to find effective solutions.
To sustainably manage and conserve our marine ecosystems, fisheries, livelihoods and natural heritage, we first need to know what's there. That's why Shark Search exists.
And that's how you can help.
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Dr Andrew Chin
Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture
James Cook University
If you have photos to contribute,
send them by email to