Sevengill sharks, Notarynchus cepedianus

2015: Latest Developments



Wildbook Pattern Recognition Program

Wildbook Pattern Recognition Program


How To Log a  Sevengill Shark Sighting 

First Time Users:

1. Go here:

Click on ‘Participate [drop down]–>Report an Encounter‘ along the bar just under the top banner

Note: if you would like to have your Sevengill video featured here, on this site, under Videos, simply upload it to either You Tube or Vimeo (unfortunately, Facebook won’t work) and then email the URL to: mbear4(at) thanks! I will make sure you get credit.


Android Shark Observer App 

Ocean Sanctuaries is pleased to announce that v 2.0 of the Shark Observer app is now available on App Geyser here:

–Log your Sevengill shark encounters directly into the Sevengill Shark ID Project.

We will announce when v.2.0 is ready on Google Play for download.

Note: since App Geyser is not a Google Play outlet, please go to Settings–>Security–>Allow Unknown Sources (Just This One Time) to enable installation.

Thank you and we welcome your feedback.


KPBS TV: Erik Anderson Interview/June, 2013:


Latest Developments:


Citizen Science Association Conference 

San Jose, CA


Citizen Science 2015 was the inaugural conference of the Citizen Science Association (CSA). It was held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California, USA, February 11-12, 2015–two days of building connections and exchanging ideas across a wide spectrum of disciplines and experience, to help to shape the future of citizen science.

Ocean Sanctuaries presented on ‘Identifying Sevengill Sharks in San Diego with ‘Wildbook’

see here for more information:



March 22, 2014

After careful consideration and consultations with several knowledgeable shark researchers  (not all of whom agreed with my decision), I have decided to go forward with using Wildbook as the primary pattern recognition analysis tool for the Sevengill shark project. I am aware that the scope of the program is much broader than what we are currently set up to do as a citizen science project , ie: tagging and genetic sampling. However, several factors influenced my decision.  

First: one of the two pattern recognition algorithms has already been successfully tested by biologist Brad Norman and ECOCEAN on whale sharks ( This will be an opportunity to see how well it works on sevengill sharks, whose pattern is different, to be sure. But you don’t know until you try. Science is all about experimentation and seeing what works and what doesn’t, right?

Secondly, because the program is open source, new updates are coming out on a regular basis, with improvements in both the software and the algorithms getting ‘pushed out’ to users. With feedback to the developer, the algorithm can be continually tweaked and improved to work more efficiently with this images of this species of shark, as our database grows over time. To see how this program is being successfully used to ID Whale Sharks, see here: Here is more on the developers of the program, Jason Holmberg and Zaven Arzoumanian:  For more information on the methodology used in this project, please see here:

March 15

Formation of Ocean Sanctuaries Non-Profit

Experienced San Diego diver and filmmaker Barbara Lloyd and I recently decided the time had come to form an ocean-related non-profit here in San Diego which could serve as an umbrella organization to support citizen science projects, including, but not limited to this one as well as documentary films about the ocean and various ecological issues, to be called Ocean Sanctuaries.

“We have envisioned an organization which is a collaboration between citizen scientists, scientists, and other like minded organizations to foster greater understanding, wise ecology, species protection and good stewardship of the ocean and related habitats. We hope to do this by creating a community which educates and shares information through multi-media, social media, and the web. We also make data and imagery, gathered by citizen scientists, available to the general public, scientists, and other organizations.”

–Barbara Lloyd

Rather than try to  summarize all the Mission Statements and developments surrounding the founding of Ocean Sanctuaries here, I am providing a link to an article in Marine Science Today which does so more succinctly:



 To see other citizen science projects we are linked up with, see: 

Sharing the Data: Collaboration with Other Citizen Science Projects on the  sidebar on the upper right here