Machine Learning & Citizen Science & Conservation Research

Fin Spotter applies computer vision algorithms and deep learning to identify and track individual sharks across hundreds of thousands of photos. We help researchers collaborate with each other and citizen scientists contribute to the effort. A.I. scales and speeds research and conservation.

Step 1. Deep Learning Finds Animals

We train computer vision to find individual sharks in photos and identify the species.

Step 2. Algorithms and Neural Networks Identify Individuals

When we know where each animal is, we can identify them individually using algorithms that make digital "fingerprints" for each animal, such as identifying them by their unique spot or stripe patterning. We replace hours of human labor with just a few minutes of computer vision, scanning for matches across tens of thousands of photos.

Step 3. Population Dynamics Define Conservation Action

If we can quickly track individuals in a population, we can model population size and dynamics to generate new insights and support rapid, data-driven conservation action.

One Platform, Many Species, Many Researchers

and more soon!

67 identified sharks

71 reported sightings

7 citizen scientists

2 researchers

How can I help?

If you are not on site, there are still other ways to get engaged

Adopt an animal

  • Support research!
  • Receive email updates when we resight your adopted animal
  • Display your photo and a quote on the animal's page in our database
Learn more about adopting a shark in our study

Meet an adopter:Dylan Irion

Population studies like this are vital to understanding the health of our oceans. I hope to see my shark Benthic Bob soon!