What is the purpose of gathering this data?

We want the public to have access to information about sightings. Divers often see sharks (or other critters) and keep the news within their circle of friends. We believe that by opening this information to everyone, we will increase diver excitement about critters and potentially increase the size of the diving community.

Additionally, there may be some use to the data in scientific circles. We understand that these are not scientific surveys, but data like this has been used in the past in research.

Who has access to the data?

You do! You can view every submission we've gotten through the Sighting Data link. Also, if you want access to the Sheet itself, just ask!

Can I help?

Yes! We would love your help! Specifically, we need help with the following areas:

  1. Advocating for divers to report their sightings

  2. Following up with divers on their sightings

  3. Identifying sharks from dive reports/videos

  4. Collaborate with other sixgill resources

  5. Update the website

  6. Analyze data

  7. Technical advice/analysis

What is the best way to capture video/pictures of sixgills?

If you're shooting for fun, there are lots of great images. If you're shooting for identification purposes, here is our guidance:

  1. Good lighting will help get the shots you need.

  2. Get good shots of any distinct markings on the shark.

  3. Get shots all the way around the shark. Don't just shoot the head.

  4. Get shots from the top, too.

  5. Get a shot of the underside, if possible. That helps determine sex.

  6. Get shots with someone or something in the picture with the shark. That helps determine size

How do I identify the sharks?

Study the Meet the Sharks page. That page has our known sharks, and it lists the unique markings to look for. Also, when you encounter a shark, note the following things

  1. How big is the shark? How tall is your buddy compared to the length of the shark?

  2. Look at the rear-underside of the shark, if possible. Males have claspers and females do not. That is hard to see from above/side.

  3. Look for unique markings. Do they have scars? Do they have distinct marks?

  4. Look for coloring. Some have more black on their caudal fins, and some have almost none.

What about the Seattle Aquarium, don't they have a Six Gill Shark Research team, and station?

You can learn more about the work the Seattle Aquarium did on six gill shark research on the Learn More page. The Seattle Aquarium does not have active research on six gill sharks at this time.

Why does the submission ask for an email address?

We ask for an email address in case we have any questions about the sightings. We're attempting to identify sharks, and we may have follow up questions about markings or behavior that may identify the sharks.