The Whole Tooth, bringing you nothing but the truth about sharks, rays and other marine life.
I’m Isla – scientist, wildlife guide, scuba diver, general all round ocean enthusiast. For The Whole Tooth video blog and podcast, I will be pitching your marine questions to experts from all over the world. No question is too big, or too small, we’ll get it answered.
How did you fall in love with the ocean?
I grew up in a seaside town on the north-east coast of England with very easy access to the beach, so I was in the water from pretty much day one! I spent my childhood exploring the coastline; picking my way across the cliffs looking for...
The Whole Tooth is an interactive, informal video blog and podcast series aimed at connecting a general audience to top marine researchers in an accessible and engaging way. People can submit any questions they may have about our oceans here, then we match them up with scientists and educators to get answers from the global experts.
We’ll then produce regular episodes getting people’s questions answered, along with specials that focus on a particular topic or location. All episodes of the video blog will be available on the Save Our Seas Foundation YouTube channel, and all episodes of the podcasts are available wherever you get your podcasts.
Demian’s team is developing tools that help border control officers identify illegal shark products. His project is sifting through ‘rhino ray’ DNA sequences looking for differences in code between the guitarfishes, giant guitarfishes and wedgefishes nicknamed for their pointy snouts (and Endangered status). Months of testing will help ensure only rhino ray DNA is targeted before the team flies to Hong Kong to help officials use a portable DNA tester. This project will add to the arsenal currently being used to identify illegal shark fins moving across borders, and help stop the trafficking of ‘rhino ray’ fins.
Aristide created a citizen science platform and mobile app for fishers across Cameroon’s 400 km coastline to record sightings of sharks, rays and marine life. These photos are uploaded to iNaturalist where they are identified and will serve to create Cameroon’s first elasmobranch atlas. Together with his team, Aristide ensures data are being uploaded, visits fish landing sites to assess bycatch and measure sharks, and scours the beaches to check for strandings and sea turtle nests. He collects tissue samples of threatened species in these visits that can give more insights into the diversity, population size and structure of vulnerable sharks.
Ali is collaborating with researchers across North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to develop support tools for guitarfish conservation. As an advocate, much of her work is completed behind a computer and locked in meetings, but her goal is to help bring awareness to the threatened status of guitarfish in the Mediterranean. The current Director of Conservation for the Shark Trust, Ali represents a large number of regional partners to engage with governments, develop new resources and coordinate guitarfish conservation activities.