So what exactly does that mean?
A crucial element of shark conservation involves understanding different species' population statuses and their distribution around the world. Scientists work hard to learn all they can about shark populations, but their resources are limited. So shark biologist Dr. Ryan Kempster and his conservation organization Support Our Sharks have developed a program called SharkBase, to allow non-scientists to record any shark sightings and encounters to a database of information that scientists can then use to help preserve sharks.
Kempster explains on Southern Fried Science:
"Through SharkBase, we are building a global network of Citizen Shark Scientists collecting vital information about these important animals. Using the data gathered by SharkBase, we will not only be able to map the distribution 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 shark researchers to assist in the management of shark populations worldwide."
Anyone can sign up and add to the database. So if you have anything to contribute, from your past or present, visit Shark-Base.org and get started.
Learn more about the program here, and watch the video below.