About

Key Features

  • Record all of your past, present, and future shark* sightings.
  • Record sightings you see in the news or on the internet.
  • Securely store and keep track of your shark* sightings in your personal shark* records.
  • Tag your dive club, society, etc. in your shark* sightings.
  • Benefit from automatic data checks and review by experts.
  • Share your sightings with your friends and the SharkBase community.
  • Explore dynamic maps and reports of your data.
  • Explore data shared by other recorders in your area and/or for species groups you are interested in.
  • Verify sightings submitted by other users.
  • Contribute directly to real science and conservation.

Overview

SharkBase is a website for recording and sharing shark* encounters, including associated photos. You can register quickly and for free. Once you’ve registered, you can add your own sightings for others to see, and you can see what has been recorded by others. Your data will be kept secure and will be regularly backed up. Automatic checks will be applied to your observations to help spot potential errors, and experts will review your sightings to verify their accuracy. Once a sighting has been verified by our experts it will then be added to the public database for others to view and share.

The goal of SharkBase is to make it easier for sightings to be collated, checked by experts, and made available to support research and decision-making at local, national, and global levels.

Why Have We Developed This Site?

We have developed this site to support online collection and collation of high quality biological records.  The site is built around the individual recorder, who can manage and share their sightings with other recorders, and make a contribution to conservation and science at local, national, and global levels.  We have also developed this site to provide a centralised system for species experts to review data for their taxonomic groups and geographic area. Wherever possible, SharkBase data will be used to produce high quality peer-reviewed journal publications to assist in the understanding and conservation of sharks* worldwide.

Data Accessibility

SharkBase data is stored in a secure database, archived daily, and accessible to anyone via the website.  Data is also made available through The Atlas of Living Australia. Records entered into the SharkBase website will be made available to relevant individuals and organisation(s) to enable verification and sharing of important data.   Wherever possible, verified data will be made freely available to the public (see data sharing below). If your sightings are missing key data, such as location (lat/long), they will remain unverified and not visible to the public. Users may request an Excel file of their personal sighting records, for use in their own projects or for record keeping, by sending an email request to us here. Please send your request from the email address that you used to register your SharkBase account, and include your username in the email.

Data Sharing

We encourage students and scientists to use SharkBase data in their projects and share the results of their analyses by emailing any reports or publications to our team. You are free to use SharkBase data directly from the website, or, alternatively, you can request an up to date copy of the entire database as an excel download by emailing us. The downloadable file includes all information submitted by users, excluding photos and any personal information related to individual contributors. The downloadable file only contains sightings that have been verified by the SharkBase team. If you wish to access photos of sighting records, you may download low resolution versions using the sighting URL links found in the downloadable file, or you may submit an application to us to access full high resolution photos for use in your project. If you use any data from SharkBase, we simply ask that you cite the database in your reports/publications.  A full citation can be found in the downloadable file.

Shark Conservation

Effective management of sharks* starts with an understanding of their population status, which will ultimately instruct their future conservation. Unfortunately, many shark species are at significant risk of unrecoverable decline, with some species having declined to near extinction in recent years. We believe that Citizen Science could hold the key to improving our understanding and management of shark populations, whilst also advancing community education.

Through SharkBase, we are building a global network of Citizen Shark Scientists collecting vital information about the abundance and distribution of shark* species worldwide. Using the data gathered by SharkBase, we will not only be able to map the distribution and abundance of sharks* globally, but, as sharks* play a vital role in marine environments, we can also use this information to infer patterns of marine ecosystem health. All data will be freely available to the public via the SharkBase website, and used by scientists in the production of reports and peer-reviewed journal publications to assist in the management of shark populations worldwide.

Citizen Science

Citizen Science is gaining popularity as a means to aid researchers in the collection and analysis of important data. The benefits of Citizen Science, however, extend much further by advancing community education and scientific knowledge, and by reducing research costs. We believe that Citizen Science is an effective way to assess shark* population abundance, while building a community of engaged individuals inspired to protect sharks*. Traditional assessments of shark* population abundance use invasive/potentially harmful methods, such as tagging and long-line capture. However, researchers have shown that Citizen Scientists can actually deliver data on shark populations comparable to conventional acoustic tagging methods, which are not only very costly, but also potentially harmful. SharkBase has been developed by internationally recognised shark scientists to ensure that the data collected will be used by the scientific community to improve the management of shark* populations worldwide.

Who Are We?

SharkBase is a Citizen Science project of the Support Our Sharks (SOS) Ocean Conservation Society. It is the mission of SOS to support healthy oceans by promoting better protection for sharks and rays through research, education, and conservation.

The website is managed by fear of mice.

(*Includes all sharks, rays, and chimaeras)