A HEALTHIER OCEAN STARTS WITH LISTENING.
Started with Ransom Myers and the Global Shark Assessment
The Global Shark Assessment was an ambitious and successful project started by the late Dr. Ransom Myers and colleagues. This project was launched in October of 2003 to assess how global shark populations have changed since the beginning of industrial scale fishing, and to make predictions about how these populations will respond to global climate change and to different methods of fishing. Many influential papers were published with this initiative that documented the declines of shark populations.
Launch of the first online diver survey for sharks & rays
Through this project, the first online 'diver survey' was launched to gather data on sharks from scuba divers. This project was lead, developed and run by Christine Ward-Paige in from 2004-2007, and lead to her PhD "MONITORING ELASMOBRANCH POPULATIONS USING SCUBA DIVERS: PATTERNS, TRENDS AND POTENTIAL BIASES "
Evolved into eShark
Following Ram's passing, the Global Shark Assessment soon came to a close and eShark was conceived. eShark was designed to continue gathering observations on sharks and rays throughout the world from divers', fishers', snorkelers' observations. However, it also included other charismatic marine animals - including seahorses, turtles, whales, seals, jellyfish - and garbage. It also cast a wider net to include people with interests beyond scuba diving, including fishing, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, boating, etc. Now, thousands of records are reported each month.
eManta - the first spin-off project
In 2012, eManta was launched as the first spin-off project to collect crowd-sourced data on manta rays to determine their global population status from expert divers around the world. This project resulted in publication, and (we are told) it was influential in the decision of listing manta rays in Appendix II by CITES in 2013.
eOceans - the umbrella to house them all
In 2015, eOceans was launched with the New - Shark and Ray Conservation Survey - to act as the umbrella for these various projects that rely on the observations of on-the-ground experts telling us what they see. Our goal, is to streamline participation and reduce confusion between the ongoing projects, while highlighting those that similarly use citizen observations to contribute to other scientific investigations (REEF, Redmap, Marine Debris Tracker and eBird).