Why you should help us!
Many shark populations are declining and exploitation of their populations has rapidly escalated, mainly due to an increased demand for shark fins from Asian markets. Conservative estimates suggest that between 27 and 100 million sharks are killed each year because of fishing.
Many fishing activities are conducted illegally and are thus unreported. Because sharks are characterized by slow populations dynamics (slow growth rate, late sexual maturity, and low fecundity), they are vulnerable to even minimal levels of exploitation. Consequently, sharks became the most threatened group of marine animals.
Exacerbating this problem, sharks are also one of the most data-deficient groups of animals on the planet. A quarter of the extant shark species are threatened with extinction, and about half do not have enough data on abundance and distribution to inform their conservation status. Sharks are exploited at a fast and unsustainable rate, but we do not know how many sharks are left and for how long.
Conservation status of sharkPulse species
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The Validation Monitor is similar to the Pulse Monitor, except here you can tell us what kind of shark has been sighted! Once sharkPulse has collected potential observations from online sources, we need to validate them because some images might not be taxonomically or spatiotemporally described. The Validation Monitor is an online platform made for citizen scientists to casually or competitively validate shark sightings that will help inform conservation and management actions. Login below to keep track of your validation score, and visit the Leaderboard page!
The Shark Detector
SharkPulse uses computer vision and machine learning to locate and classify shark species from visual media. The Shark Detector is a package of object-detection and convolutional neural networks that work together to process images and videos of sharks. Because sharkPulse collects a massive amount of shark-related media from all over the world, the Shark Detector helps automate the process of filtering out irrelevant content and retaining important and ecologically relevant shark sightings. If you have an image of a shark that you think might be a sighting, submit it to sharkPulse and we’ll try to tell you what species it is! To help you validate shark taxonomy, we have created an Identification Guide that will greatly narrow down the options.
Video created by Kelly Koller