Red Sea Sharks is an organisation dedicated to the study and conservation of sharks in Egypt and the Red Sea. It was founded in 2012.
Its main goals are:
- Collecting information & scientific data on shark populations in the Red Sea.
- Raising awareness among divers of the conservation issues and threats sharks are facing worldwide.
The actual starting point for the charity was in 2004. Biologist Dr Elke Bojanowski had started working as a dive guide on Egyptian liveaboards in April, and by October that year, she started encountering Oceanic Whitetips Sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) regularly, especially in Elphinstone.
Looking at oceanic whitetips with the eyes of a biologist, they make for perfect study subjects – for two main reasons: their appearance and their behaviour.
The conspicuous colour markings on all their fin tips are ideal for photo-identification, a non-invasive research technique using natural markings to identify individuals and follow them – basically a mark-&-recapture system, without artificially marking or physically recapturing animals.
If you add the behaviour of the oceanics, extremely self-confident & curious, closely approaching divers on a regular base in the shallows in perfect light conditions – that makes these markings very easy to document (i.e. photograph and/or film)!