Newquay students reach shark app crowdfund target
Published: 2nd February 2021
A team of marine zoology students from Cornwall College have raised more than £2,000 to help develop a new smartphone app alongside the Shark Trust.
The degree-level students, all from the BSc Applied Marine Zoology programme at Cornwall College’s Newquay campus, started the Crowdfunder campaign to raise money towards the development of a new app, which will be used to record shark and skate egg cases globally.
“After such an uncertain year, we want to do something positive,” explained student Josh Symes.
“The Shark Trust is a wonderful conservation organisation, focused on safeguarding the future of sharks through positive change in science research, education, policy influence and physical action.”
Upon reaching their target, Josh added the team were absolutely “egg-static”.
He said: “We reached a of total £2145 in the end. By raising this amount of money for the Shark Trust it means that they can pay for the final development in this new global-reaching app to record shark and skate eggcases.
“In the current situation this couldn’t come at a better time as it is hoped for a release date at easter to get everyone out and about on the beach, well hopefully anyway (restrictions depending).
“As we have all learnt to appreciate our outdoor spaces from lockdowns getting outside for fresh air and exercise is so important and then helping the conservation of some of our most iconic marine animals at the same time is a win-win.”
Once developed, it is hoped the app will allow anyone to contribute to a global citizen science project. All submitted egg cases will promote shark and ray science, allowing everyone to become a scientist.
The fundraising campaign is a part of the ‘conservation project management’ module on the degree programme and provides a platform for the students to show their passion for the natural environment.
Since 2003, the Shark Trust has organised ‘The Great Eggcase Hunt’, a campaign with the aim of getting as many people as possible out hunting for ‘mermaids purses’ and recording their finds.
“The Great Eggcase Hunt allows anyone who finds a shark or ray egg case to contribute to The Shark Trust’s data,” Josh continued.
“Most of us know egg cases as ‘mermaid’s purses’ and often see them on our beach walks. Recording what you find could help to further our understanding of the populations and diversity of sharks we have right here on our doorstep. Thank you to anyone who shows their support for our project.”