LAMAVE and TMO call for citizen cooperation in shark and ray study in Tubbataha

Whale shark_gutsy tuason-2014

The Large Marine Vertebrates Project (LAMAVE) and the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) are soliciting photos and videos of sharks and rays taken in the park.   The said materials will be used to identify individual sharks and rays by distinguishing unique features.  These include scars, coloration, and skin patterns.  Identifying individual sharks would aid understanding of their movement patterns within the park, around the Philippines, and across the Southeast Asian region.

The study aims to establish shark and ray abundance and distribution in TRNP including their migration patterns.  Baited and un-baited remote underwater videos will be used, aerial counts using drones, visual census, satellite tagging of whale sharks and tiger sharks are the methods to be used in the research.

Citizen science will play a crucial role in the study.  Photos taken by divers will help in identifying individual sharks and rays.  In the past, photos submitted by divers led to the identification of two species of rays previously unrecorded in the park.  TMO and LAMAVE guarantee that photos submitted will be used for non-commercial purposes only.

Elasmobranch Conservation Project Coordinator, Mr.  Ryan Murray, will be our guest at the ranger station from March to June as he gathers data for the study.  He is also willing to conduct educational lectures about the results of the research and current conservation efforts for tourists and dive boat crew while there.

How to share your photos and videos:

  1. Upload your file into a Google Drive or a Dropbox folder and share it with us at [email protected]
  2. Send us a DVD or USB Pen Drive addressed to LAMAVE at Cora Luna Residence, Oslob, Cebu, 6025, Philippines. Or at 69 W.  Orange Grove Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024, USA.
  3. Send us an e-mail at [email protected] and we will create an online folder where you will be able to upload your files.

Before you send or upload your files, please rename each file or folder using your name, date, and dive site at which the photo or video was taken.  For example:


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