The Utila Whale Shark Research Project is managed locally by the staff of Deep Blue Resort Utila,and a huge band of supporters, researchers, volunteers, dive centers and resorts on the island, and of course one of the most important contributors of data are from visiting divers and snorkelers and from local fishermen. Data from the project is entered into the WildMe.org Whale Shark Photo-identification Library where it can be accessed by researchers all over the world. Divers and snorkelers are also very important in spreading the world about the worldwide database and submitting photos from other areas on future trips from anywhere in the world.
Using the WildMe.org Library ensures that collected data is available locally and globally, and the open and visible nature of the database and its built-in email system ensures that contributors are informed of how their data is being used. Deep Blue Utila is committed to utilizing the best technologies and methodologies available while maintaining complete transparency and maximum safety, both for researchers and for the whale sharks, in data collection. Our objective is to make our project’s results available for local conservation efforts and to ensure their validity through peer review and publication.