PARK CITY, Utah, June 9, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time, OCEARCH is inviting the public to take part in funding a shark tagging research expedition in Long Island, NY this upcoming summer. The non-profit organization, which has been at the forefront of marine science and shark research for nine years, usually raises funds through partnerships but has decided to open source its funding this time around.
"We have been pioneering the work while open sourcing our exploration, science, and education programs to include the public. Inclusion a core value of OCEARCH," said Chris Fischer, OCEARCH Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader. "Now we've created a platform for people to join us from the very beginning, the funding stage."
We lose 200,000 sharks a day, about 100 million a year. Sharks are the balance keepers of our oceans – if we lose our sharks, we lose our oceans. The current problem we face is that we don't have the necessary data to understand the migratory patterns of our ocean's apex predators' mating and birth sites – the locations we need to protect.
OCEARCH donates expeditions to science communities in an effort collect the necessary data to protect keystone marine species, such as great white and tiger sharks. The data is then open-sourced on the OCEARCH Global Shark Tracker, allowing that everyone to follow along. So far, OCEARCH has donated 24 expeditions to 113 researchers from 59 national and international institutions.
For this upcoming August expedition, OCEARCH is securing funds to enable scientists from Long Island, NY to tag great white sharks – and for the first time, juvenile white sharks – to complete the sample size necessary to draft the first scientific findings and solve the puzzle of the North Atlantic White Shark.
"We've tagged five great whites on the east coast of the US so far, and based on some of their migratory patterns, we suspect Long Island, New York may be a birthing site," Fischer said. "We're hoping to tag several juvenile sharks to help us define the juvenile range. Protecting white sharks in their nursery is the most important thing to do to increase their abundance in the future.
This expedition will also mark OCEARCH's first time in New York waters. "Not only will this expedition benefit New York in terms of helping change the perception of sharks from that of fear to one of curiosity and fascination, but it will allow the rest of the world to follow along on the Global Shark Tracker and learn about sharks at the same time as our scientists," Fischer added. "The data coming from these sharks will help us understand the ecosystem off NY and manage the area toward a balanced abundant future."
So far, the campaign has raised $44,000 with a goal of $150,000. Donate to OCEARCH now, get exclusive OCEARCH merchandise – only available on Kickstarter – and help OCEARCH continue to educate the public, advance science, and enable collaboration with professional mariners and world-class scientists.
OCEARCH is a recognized world leader in generating critical scientific data related to tracking (telemetry) and biological studies of keystone marine species such as great white and tiger sharks, in conjunction with conservation outreach and education at a measurable global scale. OCEARCH shares real-time migration data through OCEARCH's Global Shark Tracker – In 2015, OCEARCH open sourced the data on the Global Shark Tracker to 2.3 million users.
OCEARCH also inspires current and future generations of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean through its STEM Learning Program. The free STEM Curriculum, available for grades K-8 and created in partnership with Landry's, Inc. enables students to learn STEM skills while following the real-time data on the movements of their favorite sharks.
The researchers OCEARCH supports work aboard the M/V OCEARCH, a 126' Cat powered vessel equipped with a 75,000 lb. hydraulic research platform, where the ship serves as both mothership and at-sea laboratory. Scientists have approximately 15 minutes of access to live, mature sharks to conduct up to 12 studies. The sharks are measured, tissue and blood samples are collected, and satellite and acoustic transmitters are attached. Over 113 researchers from 59 regional and international institutions have partnered with OCEARCH.
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CONTACT:Ami Meite firstname.lastname@example.orgSource: Ocearch