Community Engagement

The marine environment plays an important role for many communities along the Welsh coast, however, it isn’t accessible to all.

Using our flagship species (angelshark, spurdog, common stingray and tope) Project SIARC is working with diverse school groups, citizen scientists and underrepresented groups to inspire, engage and gather information on elasmobranchs in Wales.

Schools

Project SIARC aims to inspire the future generation to safeguard the marine environment, by providing a range of interactive sessions with schoolchildren aged between 7 – 13.

Angel Shark Project: Wales bilingual e-book

We’ve developed an eBook for KS2 schoolchildren exploring the heritage of Angelsharks in Wales and how we collaborate to understand this Critically Endangered species.

Online ‘Meet the Scientist’ sessions

We are directly engaging with 30 schools with ‘Meet the Scientist” sessions completed via Microsoft Teams. Alongside this, lesson plans and teacher packs provide content to celebrate the Project SIARC flagship species and the marine environment in Wales.

3D printing in schools

We are working with 10 schools around Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries SAC to train in 3D printing technology and allow students to design and create 3D model exhibits featuring our flagship species. These will be entered into a competition during the Swansea Science Festival in 2022.

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Citizen Science

By working with citizen scientists, we can gather more information about elasmobranchs in Wales whilst inspiring volunteers to engage with their local marine environment.
We are focusing on three main citizen science activities:

Help our research by identifying species using the online Instant Wild Platform

Anyone with access to the internet can become a citizen scientist by reviewing underwater video footage from the coast of Wales, hosted on Instant Wild Project SIARC Portal. New to shark ID? No problem – we’re developing a training course to help you tell the difference between species (to be launched soon!)

Delving into the archives to gather historic records of elasmobranchs

Citizen scientists will be trained in archival research and scour their local archive, library, or museum for elasmobranch records, helping to unlock historical importance of elasmobranchs and their heritage in Wales.

Recording the presence of eggcases on local beaches as part of The Shark Trust’s ‘Great Eggcase Hunt'

Equipped with all the necessary tools, communities and practitioners will be discovering elasmobranchs eggcases in their local area in a series of events run by NWWT and Shark Trust.

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Diversity and inclusion

There is an urgent need to diversify opportunities for involvement in marine conservation. Through research including interviews and focus group discussions, we’re working to identify communities underserved by marine conservation, the barriers to participation and measures to achieve greater diversity and inclusion across Wales. These learnings will be shared with our partners and implemented within our citizen science programmes.

The Project SIARC flagship species will also be used to develop a new appreciation for the underwater environment in Wales, opening access and enabling the engagement of underrepresented groups.

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Project SIARC is a multidisciplinary project working with fishers, citizen scientists, researchers, local communities and government to safeguard sharks, skates and rays and support a green recovery in Wales.

Get involved

There are a range of ways that you can get involved with Project SIARC from actively participating in events to aiding in historical research and inspiring future generations to engage with the marine environment.

SIARC

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