Umbrella for eShark and eManta
eOceans houses various marine citizen-science (crowd-sourced) projects including eShark – the online site that gathers data on sharks and rays as well as other charismatic species. It also includes the 2012 eManta Project and the currently running ‘Shark & Ray Conservation Survey”. eOceans aims to be inclusive and build a comprehensive ecological baseline database using traditional, local and expert observations.
Beyond sharks and rays – including seals, whales, jellyfish, garbage, seahorses and turtles
In 2007, the eShark questionnaire expanded to include species beyond sharks and rays, but has not been advertised as such. Although we have hundreds of zero’s in the dataset, I’m sure we can get many more!
Zero’s are essential
Not everyone is so lucky to see sharks and rays regularly, but they still have valuable observations to report. For example, if people in Jamaica report no sharks and lots of jellyfish for the next 10 years and then they implement some conservation strategies to help rebuild shark populations, then the zero’s will be able to help us determine how long it takes for sharks to come back again. At the same time, it also tells us about the jellyfish populations.
eOceans is unique
eOceans does not replace other excellent, more comprehensive checklists like REEF.org, which is an invaluable dataset that gathers thousands of observations from trained divers around the world. On the contrary, REEF.org data are essential for validating the data reported to eOceans and eShark. The two are inherently different because anyone can report to eOceans and therefore we focus on broad-scale patterns of a few charismatic fauna to increase the number of observations made, which are validated by comparing with other data sources such as those from REEF.org.