ACF11019

Baie-Comeau Shark Conservation / Protection des requins

  • Submitted by:

    Jeffrey Gallant

    Organization:

    GEERG

    Location:

    Baie-Comeau

  • Idea Created:

    September 26, 2011

    Budget:

    Medium ($50K - 100K)

Overview:

**Protecting Sharks in Baie-Comeau** / **Protection des requins à Baie-Comeau** (Version française ici-bas) In order to better understand and protect the sharks of the St. Lawrence, the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group needs funding to set-up the world's first visual shark monitoring system near Baie-Comeau, Quebec. This webcam system would allow us to visually study individual sharks at the only known location in the world where the Greenland shark can be observed at shallow depths. The underwater webcams would also allow us to study the shark's habitat and how it interacts with other species in the area. The online images would be accessible at all times to the general public, schools and other institutions in Baie-Comeau and all over the world in order to promote environmental awareness, shark conservation, and to showcase Canada's little-known underwater heritage. Financial and physical constraints prevent us from spending much time in the water. Diving operations are expensive and require much preparation so we are limited to no more than three hours underwater per day. Disturbances caused by divers have an effect on the shark's activities and thus prevent us from observing its natural behaviour. The webcams would allow us to monitor the shark and its environment 24 hours a day for most of the year. Anyone with a computer could also log on and help. Millions of sharks are killed for their fins every year. Because many other shark species have already been decimated, the Greenland shark has recently been targeted as a new source of fins. And yet so little is known about this species, including its population, range and biology. Our webcam system would allow us to learn much about this shark, and the new knowledge would be shared with other scientists, regulatory agencies and the fishing community in order to protect this key northern species and its environment. All GEERG scientists and divers are volunteers so every penny of the funding would go to the project. We were the first to conduct pelagic shark dives on the East Coast and we were the first ever to film the Greenland shark under natural conditions anywhere in the world. Our work has been documented in scientific publications, documentaries, articles and news stories. We have also been active in schools to educate youth on the need to better understand and appreciate sharks in Canada. GEERG is a not-for-profit registered charity that requires financial assistance to conduct field operations. Donations are tax deductible in Canada (Canada Revenue: 834462913RR0001) and also in the U.S. through the Shark Research Institute, a non-profit 501(c)(3) research organization. GEERG is also a member of the Canadian Association for Underwater Science. All of our research is non-lethal. We do not kill sharks to study them. The results of our work, as well as educational materials and our website (http://www.geerg.ca), are available in English and in French. Several corporations, institutions and universities have become GEERG affiliates. Their support has enabled us to conduct ground-breaking research on the Greenland shark. However, our project in Baie-Comeau requires the acquisition of more expensive equipment and services, and we need your help. Please vote for our project and help us study and protect the elusive Greenland shark in Baie-Comeau. --- Afin de mieux comprendre et protéger le Requin du Groenland, le GEERG est à la recherche de financement afin de créer le premier système d’observation visuelle de requins en ligne à Baie-Comeau. Cette webcam nous permettrait d’étudier visuellement le requin du Groenland au seul endroit connu au monde où cette espèce est observable à faible profondeur. Les images seraient accessibles au grand public, aux écoles et aux institutions à Baie-Comeau et ailleurs afin de promouvoir la conservation de l’environnement et des requins, ainsi que pour mettre en valeur le riche patrimoine sous-marin de la région de Baie-Comeau. Les opérations de plongée sont coûteuses et nécessitent beaucoup de matériel et de préparation. Les perturbations causées par les plongeurs ont un effet sur les activités du requin, ce qui nous empêche d’observer son comportement naturel. La webcam nous permettrait d’étudier le requin et son habitat en direct 24 heures par jour. D’ailleurs, toute personne ayant accès à l’Internet pourrait faire ses propres observations. Des millions de requins sont tués pour leurs ailerons à tous les ans. Plusieurs espèces ont déjà été décimées et le requin du Groenland est maintenant dans la mire de certains pour ses ailerons. Et pourtant, nous en savons encore très peu sur sa population, sa distribution et sa biologie. Notre système d’observation visuel en ligne nous permettrait de faire des découvertes importantes sur ce requin et son habitat. S.V.P., votez pour notre projet et aidez-nous à étudier et protéger le requin du Groenland à Baie-Comeau et dans le Saint-Laurent.