Technology led man to split the atom and touch-down on the moon and now it has allowed man to track the whereabouts of unknowing sea creatures in the middle of the ocean.
A website by the name of ocearch.org allows anyone to locate the whereabouts of 416 different sea creatures such as sharks, whales and sea turtles around the world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. Clicking the website’s tracker takes the user to a map of the world, with 416 tiny icons signifying sharks, whales and sea turtles dotted across the world’s oceans.
Clicking on any one icon allows you to gain details about the given creature. Users are then informed of, as available, the creature’s species, its given name, height, weight, gender, age and even their travel log over a certain period of time.
For example, Oscar is a male Mako Shark with a weight of 320 pounds and a height 7 feet and 8 inches. His travel log suggests that he’s been travelling across the Atlantic Ocean, and currently he appears to be located near the state of Massachusetts. He was caught and tagged by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution aboard the M/V Machaca.
Ocearch claims that the data it obtains from tracking these creatures would otherwise be “unattainable”. It says that various studies have been based on this data, and that this data is then used to make informed decisions by policymakers thereby leading to both global conservation and public safety.
There have, however, been concerns – some humorous, others serious – that such a platform may violate the “priva-sea” of such creatures and that it may be utilized by poachers who are looking to hunt certain types of sea creatures. At the same time, there are arguments that it is difficult to verify whether or not the trackers installed in the animals are even still present on them and that they may have been disengaged and be floating across the ocean randomly. This could result in inaccurate data, which could lead to misinformed decision-making.