Globally, shark populations have undergone decline. My own investigations have found that more than 100 million sharks die per year, exceeding their reproductive potential, and their catches are inaccurately reported, suggesting ongoing threat to their survival.
Fortunately, there has also been a boom in the number of tourists enthusiastic to see sharks. This is certainly true in Fiji, which has an active shark diving community that participates in science and conservation.
Since 2011, eShark (eOceans.org) - via the Great Fiji Shark Count - has collected 96,000 shark observations from 20,000 dives on 200 sites across Fiji — an astounding volunteer effort! Combined with other eOceans projects, more than 1.3 million dive observations have been reported. Publications using these data have been used to support conservation policy (sanctuaries, CITES).
This urgent project is in need of in-person validation - fact-checking - to be able to describe shark populations and assess their conservation needs.
You can help with this effort by:
1) providing your own dive observations, in Fiji or elsewhere (it's global!),
2) donating to support necessary on-the-ground field work to standardize these data, or
3) launch an eOceans project in your area - something that matters to you!