OMSAC’s fave club scientist Sarah Jane Ackland was lucky enough to do the Cape Radd Shark Week workshop last November.
Cape Radd is a research institution that focuses on collecting shark conservation data, as well as teaching up-and-coming marine biologists and citizen scientists.We asked her for the low-down…
Quick takeaways were:
- you can scuba-dive with a purpose — there are lots of citizen science programs you can help with such as iNaturalist and Finspotter.
- the biggest threats to our sharks are overfishing and climate change
Here’s Sarah-Jane’s detailed feedback:
The workshop was an educational, fascinating time; I learnt a lot about the different aspects of shark conservation and I was challenged not only as a diver but also as a scientist.
My favourite activity was doing lots of different field data collections.
The beauty of the Cape Radd courses and workshops is that they are not only for scientists and marine biologists, but also for the general public. As “Joe Soap” you can also be a citizen scientist who performs a vital function in collecting data about these unique sea creatures.
The sharks of our special Cape coastline are undeniably threatened (by climate change and overfishing). Big and small sharks are feeling the impact and we need to start learning, educating and most importantly implementing conservation practices if we want to see these powerful creatures flourish in our waters once again.