Have you ever found a strange-looking, leathery pocket washed up on the beach? It was probably the empty eggcase of a shark or skate. Recording where you have seen these eggcases helps Ali and her team learn about the animals that laid them.
With a BSc (Hons) in Marine Environmental Science and an MSc in Applied Marine Science, Ali has worked for marine science and conservation charities for more than 17 years. Her intrigue for the sea started at a young age; as a child in Cyprus she could often be found sitting on the seabed (with a lap full of rocks to weigh her down), feeding an insatiable curiosity for life underwater.
Ali later wound up in North Queensland, Australia, where as a teenager she worked in environmental tourism by crewing on a traditional boat that took the public as well as researchers...
My keen interest in nature and the environment developed when I was young, although living in central England, well away from the coast, meant that my curiosity about the underwater world took longer to emerge. It was learning to scuba-dive at the age of 14 that led me to fall in love with the ocean and appreciate its inhabitants. Faced with choosing a career, I jumped at the opportunity to study for a BSc in marine biology and coastal ecology and then an MSc in conservation biology with a view to working in the marine conservation sector. I had a...
Since 2003 the Great Eggcase Hunt, a Shark Trust initiative, has been engaging the public in hunting for spent shark, skate and ray eggcases that wash up along the UK coastline throughout the year. The project was borne from concern regarding the population status of egg-laying skates and rays.
The Great Eggcase Hunt not only raises awareness of the diversity of elasmobranchs in British waters, but also engages the public in the intrigues of the UK foreshore and the myriad of items they can discover.
In recent decades, the abundance of several species of skates and rays has dramatically declined around the British coast. The empty eggcases that wash up onto our beaches year-round are an easily accessible source of information on the whereabouts of skate and ray nursery grounds. The identification of these critical areas will enable the Shark Trust to propose conservation measures to reverse the decline of these charismatic animals.
Funding received from the Save Our Seas Foundation for the next phase of the Great Eggcase Hunt will build on a strong foundation of information and enthusiasm using the previous tenets: expand, improve and deliver.
Watamu Marine National Park in northern coast of Kenya is one of the oldest marine protected areas in Africa, but conservationists are faced with the tension between the needs of an impoverished community and protecting nature. Peter aims to understand the role of the MPA in protecting sharks and rays.