Thailand eShark Project

Posted on November 13, 2013


eShark provides a simple way for divers and snorkelers to report the sharks, rays and sawfish they see, and don’t see, in a way that is used to assess and monitor populations, communities and ecosystems. Most importantly these data are used to assess the need for, and success of marine management initiatives, including sanctuaries.

It’s simple, easy and fun to take part!


Step 1: Dive, snorkel and explore the reefs of Thailand
Step 2: Log and report your shark observations to the eShark database, even if no sharks were observed!
Step 3: If possible, report all your past Thailand dive logs into the eShark database including your shark observations


The Thailand eShark Project – Why?


Thailand eShark LogosThe Thailand eShark Project has been organized through Shark Guardian to collectively gather data from as many divers in Thailand as possible. This project hopes to be the largest project ever undertaken in one country by divers for shark conservation over a 6 month period. Shark Guardian recently conducted a survey to gather information regarding shark sightings by divers based in various diving locations in Thailand. Some of these divers have been based in these location for over 10 years. Surveys were collected from locations including:


  • Pattaya
  • Koh Tao
  • Phi Phi Islands
  • Phuket Island
  • Similan Islands
  • Koh Lanta


In one area, shark sightings over 6 years had dropped by 95%. In 2007 nearly 90 sharks were sighted while in 2012, less than 10 were seen over a 6 month period.


What will the Thailand eShark Project results be used for?


The Thailand eShark Project results will be used to raise awareness of declining shark populations in Thailand to the general public, Thai government and the Department of Marine Coastal Resources (DMCR) of Thailand. Additionally, to help improve protected marine parks with the aim of creating shark sanctuaries. The identification of shark species and areas is also an important step in determining the best method for recovery and protection.



Who can help and contribute to the Thailand eShark Project?


Thailand eShark ProjectANYONE that has ever dived or snorkeled in the ocean! All ocean going divers (professionals, recreational, and tourists) are candidates for this survey. The on-line surveys should be filled out after each dive you make – even if you do not see any sharks!


The Thailand eShark Project aims to evaluate how shark and ray populations have changed through time in Thai waters. eShark uses scuba diver’s observations to census shark populations around the world. Scuba divers possess valuable information because they census areas that fishers don’t- like coral reefs, seagrass beds, and pinnacles. Divers are also extremely valuable for monitoring no-take zones and Marine Protected Areas- where fishing is prohibited.



Complete collaboration by all Thailand based Dive Centers is vital for the success of this project!

From 01 November 2013 until 30 April 2014 we need to collect and record as much data of shark observations as possible by all Thailand Dive Centers. We need dive professionals and your diving/snorkeling customers to get involved! How it’s done:


  • Download the Thailand eShark Project Dive Log Sheet
  • After the dive, Instructors and Divemasters fill in the dive log which now contains the eShark database requirements
  • Each dive group can record one data entry for each dive
  • If possible please include GPS co-ordinates for the dive sites visited
  • When you return from diving or snorkeling, report your shark observations to the eShark database. Or keep the log sheets and enter them later
  • REMEMBER: No shark sightings are just as vital to record!


Why are the zero’s so important?


The zero’s are important for any scientific survey – it is the only way Sighting Frequency can be calculated. Also, the zero’s are extremely important for examining the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas or fishing regulations. For example, if divers report zero’s in an area for 10 years, and then a no-take area is established, then we can start to determine if, and how long it takes for sharks to respond to the protection.


eShark – background


Christine Ward-Paige

Christine Ward-Paige


Marine Biologist and Researcher: Christine Ward-Paige


eShark developed from the Global Shark Assessment, which was an ambitious and successful project started by the late Dr. Ransom Myers and colleagues. The Global Shark Assessment was launched in October of 2003 to assess how global shark populations have changed since the beginning of industrial scale fishing, and to make predictions about how these populations will respond to global climate change and to different methods of fishing.


Previous eShark survey results have been used for several publications to assist with shark conservation. Results if eShark has been used to assist the IUCN data of sharks for the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Papers published by Christine Ward-Paige include:



For any additional information or questions contact Christine Ward-Paige at

Posted in: Phuket, Thailand