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Conservation: Citizen Science

Global FinPrint

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Community scientists at the Aquarium are counting sharks as part of Global FinPrint, the largest shark survey ever done.

Sharks are an integral part of our ocean ecosystems, and 25 percent of shark species are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, unsustainable fishing practices, and habitat destruction. To better understand this problem, Global FinPrint, a collaboration of scientists and conservation organizations around the world, is working to survey global shark populations.

Through the use of Baited Remote Underwater Videos or “BRUVs”, scientists are able to learn about shark distribution and population at 400 reefs around the world. A team of community scientists at the Aquarium of the Pacific is getting involved by viewing BRUVs in the Pacific Ocean and logging the appearance of sharks and rays before sending the information to scientists for further analysis. The information gained in this study will help inform policy decisions to protect reefs and shark populations and identify shark hotspots that need protection.

People can help sharks by making sustainable seafood choices and supporting legislature to protect sharks and their habitat. Visit globalfinprint.org for more information.