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Shark ID/Adopt A Shark

Shark ID AKA Shark Identification program “@OneOceanSharks”

Here at One Ocean we use non-invasive research techniques such as photo identification (or photo ID ) to collect data on specific sharks and study them on an individual level. This method significantly reduces the need for stressful or harmful tagging to assess site fidelity and assists in maintaining the accuracy of survey counts and ethological studies that are conducted daily. Our photo identification program utilizes high-resolution photos of the top, left, and right side of the animal to detect the presence of distinguishing scars, markings, and unique features to recognize individual sharks and document them over time. We currently have over 200 individually documented sharks of different species cataloged which is used in comparing timing, seasonal movements, distinguishing behaviors, and social interactions amongst individuals.

Each shark has it’s own unique disposition or behavioral tendency (personality,) and we love introducing our guests to the members of our semi-residential pelagic community. We aim to engage others with our photo ID program, offering the opportunity to adopt one of the real-life actual sharks surveyed by our program! Guests on our tours also have the opportunity to name a shark they encounter on their dive or around the world if they capture and submit photos of the top, left and right side of the animal. If the shark has long term distinguishing features or a clear natural pattern (tiger shark, whale shark, white shark) and has not been identified in our catalog yet you will get to name the shark! Participants, as well as others interested, can stay up to date with the shark they have adopted via social media. @OneOceanSharks on Instagram highlights recently re-sighted individuals and introduces some of the most commonly encountered sharks we see on our dives. You can also search hashtags “#SharkID____” and input the name of a shark to see its public recognition over time. Click the button at the top to support this ongoing research and conservation efforts and get an adoption certificate with a photo of a shark that you get to name and we will record it in our daily field data set whenever we see it.

Ways you can help and get involved:

Contribute Photos:

Want to contribute to our shark ID database? Email us photos, the time and place of sighting off Hawaiian waters at ATTN: Shark ID. Please provide as much information about the size, location, markings, gender, etc.


Adopt a Shark Via the button below or above and one of our professional photographers will accompany one of our shark biologists to go document and record a shark that is not already in our program, we will send you the images and you get to name the shark. Once you’ve chosen a name we will post it @OneoceanSharks for the official record and send you an adoption certificate, supporter certificate, and some conservation gifts.

Thank you for supporting shark research.

Aloha-One Ocean Research and Conservation team