Sevengill Sharks in South Australia 2017

September 17 2017

Expedition Video

Our mission is to use citizen science to identify and catalog sevengill sharks (Notorynchus cepedenius) in south Australia. The purpose is to inspire others to get involved in cataloging this 'near threatened' (IUCN) species.

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September 17 2017


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Preparation Stage

The IUCN request was granted and the spatial data has been downloaded.

Now I need to figure out how to view the data. This is new territory for me.

If anyone out there knows what tools a citizen scientist can use to access the data I would be very appreciative of any assistance.


2017-09-19 Requested one-time access to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species data on sevengill sharks.

The purpose of the data is to identify where the sevengill sharks have been seen in the past, specifically in South Australia.

For the past month, we have reached out to prior researchers in Australia, and to the general diving community. We have been trying to find who has recently spotted or seen fisherman with sevengills. So far, everyone says they are on the south cost of Australia, but no researchers have been involved in gathering data on sevengills for over five years now.

We know that the shark has been reported in temperate water all over the world.

We hope to have a Trident OpenROV so we won't need to use SCUBA. A small boat, in coastal waters, should be good enough to get out into the areas where the sharks have recently been seen.

We are looking for contacts in South Australia for our November 2017 Expedition. If you can help please comment or contact me.

Expedition Background

Sevengill Shark Expedition South Australia 2017

Here is what we have done so far:

  • Pick the dates (Nov 2017)
  • Booked our flights
  • Talked with the OpenExplorer Folks
  • Began researching where the sevengill sharks have been seen (and how long ago)
  • Started making a list of equipment
  • Started this Expedition Project

How it all started...

The Sevengill Shark Identification Project

In 2010 Ocean Sanctuaries established a marine citizen science project to identify individual sevengill sharks. This project is unique in several ways:

  • identifies individual sharks
  • using photographs and video only
  • uses citizen scientist volunteers

Ocean Sanctuaries is successfully tracking individual sevengill sharks in San Diego, California, USA as well as False Bay, South Africa. Although this shark has a wide range, along the continental shelves in shallow waters off the West Coast of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, very little actual, reliable data exists. Currently the World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the Sevengill shark as “Data Deficient”. Data is lacking in most regions, making it difficult to determine the overall status of this species. However, it is currently assessed as “Near Threatened” in the eastern Pacific Ocean.” Sevengill shark.

To learn more about this shark, Ocean Sanctuaries, and citizen science, check out: Using Citizen Science to Track Sevengill Sharks

To learn how we successfully identify individual sharks without using tags, check out: Sevengill Shark Identification Methodology

We have successfully engaged volunteer scuba divers in submitting their photos and video of sevengill sharks in Southern California, USA and False Bay, South Africa. You can check out our data at The Sevengill Shark Identification Project.

We knew it was time to get people involved in identifying sevengill sharks in South Australia so we are on an expedition to inspire others to get involved!


Hey Michael! I'd love to share some photos in our newletters. Could you post some/share some? Thank you :)

This is very cool. Can't wait to see how it goes!

Best of luck!