Citizen science a winner

| April 24, 2014

SSTPmaillogoCitizen science, such as that undertaken by the SSTP, has proven its worth by delivering better quality data on shark populations than conventional acoustic tagging methods, and at lower cost.

The SSTP provides a cheaper way of collecting good data about Scottish shark populations over a broad scale and also long periods of time but without having to spend substantial amounts of money in scientific expeditions.

Citizen science — using amateur or non-professional individuals to collect and analyse scientific data — is rapidly growing across many fields of scientific research but has particular advantages when it comes to field surveys of organisms like sharks or near-shore fish stocks which can occur in relatively low abundance.

Now, researchers from Australia and Palau have compared data collected by professional dive guides in Palau with acoustic telemetry data from tagged sharks at the same sites, and found the dive guides’ data was not only equally accurate, but included valuable additional data that the telemetry couldn’t collect.

More at PLOS | ONE.

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