Divers provide scientific evidence

18 February 2013 09:32

Photos of whale sharks captured by scuba diving tourists could be used by scientists

Photos of whale sharks captured by scuba diving tourists could be used by scientists

Holidaymakers' photographs of whale sharks could help scientists when it comes to tracking and learning more about the huge animals. The sharks can be found in the Indian Ocean, with travellers to nearby destinations often taking snaps of them, particularly in the Maldives.

Whale sharks, often referred to as the world's largest fish, migrate incredible distances and dive deep underwater, frustrating many efforts to study them. But new research has found that scientists could use 85% of whale shark photographs published on social media sites like Flickr to successfully identify individual sharks.

Researchers had not previously thought of such publicly available photos as a reliable source of information. Scuba diving is a popular activity with tourists, just remember to cover yourself with adequate scuba diving travel insurance.

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