Photograph and data can be collected from sighting in the wild, from landing at the harbour or fish auction market, or on board of a vessel (research or fishing trip). Photograph and data may be collected opportunistically or in a research-prepared manner for an individual or a group voluntary action.
Photograph position from sighting of a species will have to differ between shark, chimaera, ray and skate.
- Shark and Chimaera photograph need to be taken from a lateral point of view/side covering from the snout to the caudal fin (tail) (Fig 1)
- Ray and Skate photograph could be taken from above or slightly from the side covering their entire dorsal side from the snout to the caudal fin (tail) (Fig 4).
- An exception for the Manta Ray species (Mobula alfredi and M. birostris), in which their photograph could be taken from below covering their entire ventral side from the snout to the caudal fin (tail) (Fig 2).
Fig 1. Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus)
Fig 3. Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini)
Fig 2. Reef Manta Ray (Mobula alfredi)
Fig 4. Bluespotted Ribbontail Ray (Taeniura lymma)
Photograph of sighting should be parallel as much as possible to the camera (lateral, from above, or from below) to make species identification more accurate. In case a photograph is unable to be parallel or cover the necessary body parts of the elasmobranchs and if the photographer deemed the photograph is covering enough for a species to be visually identified, the photograph may be taken (Fig 3).
Photograph may also be taken out of a video from a diving/snorkelling activity or from BRUVs (Baited Remote Underwater Video) by screen shooting or cropping part of the video where the shark, ray, skate or chimaera appears. Screenshooting or cropping should be done while keeping in mind the criteria for photograph above.
Photograph position from a landing or on board of a vessel will also have to differ between shark, chimaera, ray and skate.
- Shark and chimaera photograph need to be taken from a lateral point of view/side covering from the snout to the caudal fin (tail) (Fig 5)
- Ray and skate photograph need to be taken from above covering their entire dorsal side from the snout to the caudal fin (tail) (Fig 6)
If a species brought on board a vessel, either from a research or fishing trip, and is planned to be released alive, a photograph doesn’t necessarily to be taken following the above criteria. Thus the photograph can be taken quickly and prevent from killing the fish. If the photographer deemed the photograph is covering enough for a species to be visually identified, the photograph may be taken (Fig 7).
All landing or on-board photograph is encouraged to have a ruler or any object of similar size to the fish for size comparison.
Fig 5. Milk Shark (Rhizoprionodon acutus)
Fig 6. Whitenose Whipray (Pateobatis uarnacoides)
Fig 7. Lemon Shark (Negaprion brevirostris)
These photograph positions will help verify the species identification, as every species have their own specific characteristics
Species Data Guide
After a photograph is taken, a presumed identification of the species should also be done on the field. Other information (including the presumed identification) also need to be collected if possible, including:
|Sighting||Landing or on board|
|Name of photographer||Name of photographer|
|Length and weight*||Length and weight*|
|Date and time of photograph taken||Date and time of photograph taken|
Location of photograph taken
Location of photograph taken
Location of fish caught*
|Habitat at sight||Method of capture*|
Please use the references below to assure the correct information is taken for sex and length information.
Fig 8. Male Shark
Fig 9. Female Shark
Male Elasmobranch has a visible external reproductive organ called Clasper while female doesn’t (Fig 8. and 9.).
TL refers to Total Length, a measurement used for shark, sawfish, guitarfish and wedgefish, which measure the length of an Elasmobranch from the snout parallel to the tip of the caudal fin. DW refers to Disc Width, a measurement for ray and skate (except sawfish, guitarfish and wedgefish), which measure the length of their body width from one pectoral fin to the other.
Identification book or guide can be downloaded from the website (check: ElasmoID) or you can use other identification book depending on your preferences. Information can be collected using any sort of notebook or paper, but a form can be downloaded from the project website for a prepared data collection event. Only one individual of each species sighted or landed need to be photographed from each occasion.
All photograph and data collected on the field, either sighting, landing or on board of a vessel, can then be submitted through the website. Photograph and data will then be assessed and displayed on the website. Participant of this project will be required to read and agree to the Terms and Agreements of this project, in which the general idea is to allow the flexible use of the submitted photograph and data for a variety of research and conservation purposes.
These forms can help you during data collection