If you’re into shark conservation, there’s now a way you can play a first-hand role, with a website called SharkBase.org.

Started by shark biologists Ryan M. Kempster and Channing A. Egeberg, SharkBase gives citizen conservationists a place to report shark sightings, “whether you’ve seen a shark or not,” according to SharkBase.org.

“Even if you have never seen a shark in the wild, you can still contribute to SharkBase by submitting sightings that you see in the news or on the Internet,” the site says.

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All you need to do is sign up and start submitting your sightings of sharks, rays and chimaeras.

The site’s aim is to “assist in the understanding and conservation of sharks* worldwide” by engaging citizen scientists to build a robust database of shark sightings for use not only by the public, but also by experts in various shark species.

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From the founders: “Effective management of sharks starts with an understanding of their population status, which will ultimately instruct their future conservation. Unfortunately, many shark species are at significant risk of unrecoverable decline, with some species having declined to near extinction in recent years. We believe that Citizen Science could hold the key to improving our understanding and management of shark populations, whilst also advancing community education.”

Tune in to the Discovery Channel for Shark Week starting July 5!

Hat tip PopSci.com

As extra, here's a video of a leopard shark getting a belly rub from an aquarium employee at the Aquarium des Lagons in New Caledonia cleaning its habitat. Enjoy.