We design our Earthwatch Teen Expeditions specifically and exclusively for 15- to 18-year-olds. They’re unlike any other experience a teenager can have.
Do something special this summer: protect shark populations in Belize, explore beautiful tropical reefs, and meet fascinating people from around the world.
When Dr. Demian Chapman and his team of researchers arrived in Belize in 2000, he rarely saw shark meat in fish markets. But, he says, “This has changed. Today, fishermen are exploiting sharks in Belize almost without any regulation.” Fueled by the high prices paid for shark fins used in soup, fishermen are overfishing shark populations on an epic scale.
Travel to Belize and join scientists working to protect coral reefs so that they can remain rich hunting grounds for these predators. Using baited remote underwater video cameras (BRUVs), his team has already determined that sharks are nearly absent on reefs where fishing is allowed. But they’ve also found reason to be hopeful: shark populations thrive in marine reserves, where fishing is banned.
By studying both legally protected and unprotected areas, you’ll help find out exactly how marine reserves strengthen shark populations. From a boat under the Caribbean sky, your team will deploy BRUVs to learn what’s happening in the water and catch sharks to take tissue samples for dietary analysis. This work will help save some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.