The basking shark has been protected from commercial hunting in British waters since the late 20th century. To monitor the current population and study the affects of the poaching, hunting and climate change. The University of Exeter’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation is one of the project’s leaders. Professor Brendan Godleysays, “It is notoriously challenging to carry out long-term monitoring of marine wildlife but with the help of many hundreds of volunteers reporting their records, we have made a leap forward.” Volunteers and amateurs were asked to keep a record of any basking shark sightings and relay the information back to scientists, researchers, universities and conservation groups. The research will also be used to incorporate further sanctions to protect and conserve the sharks and seas. Ruth Williams is the marine conservation manager for Cornwall Wildlife Trust said,“This research has proved the value of data collected by members of the public and our volunteers, and highlights the importance of public engagement with such recording schemes.” This shark citizen science project had people had individuals spotting individual sharks. The combined data from many individuals together makes significant contributions to the research and study. The driving force behind citizens science is amateurs preforming scientific tasks. Whether as individuals or as groups these tasks are important and might even lead to the next big scientific discovery.
Citizen Sort-It Works!
The basking shark citizen science project successfully calculated the number of sharks by harnessing people power. The data provided a lot of information about the current population of whales. The Citizen Sort research team is also trying to harness people power to perform classification tasks. The video games provide platforms for amateurs and volunteers to connect directly with scientists. The photos in the game are from researcher’s databases. Most of them were taken by scientists directly in the field. Some have never been seen before. However, the individual players, each of your classifications, together make for a large scale scientific discovery.