What Is OCEARCH?
How OCEARCH is Charting New Waters in Shark Conservation
If you love life by the sea, you probably know that maintaining a healthy ocean is essential to enjoying her blue marble waters for years to come. Unfortunately, our oceans have long suffered from a critical lack of data and misinformation surrounding one of her keystone species: Sharks.
Supporting a healthy shark population is vital to restoring balance and abundance to our ocean’s ecosystems. OCEARCH, a globally-recognized non-profit marine group, is leading the way in shark conversation efforts by generating previously unobtained data on great white sharks and other apex predators through their research expeditions.
On a Global Mission to Restore the World’s Oceans
Founded in 2007, OCEARCH was born out of the desire to connect people to the fascinating wonders of the ocean and bring awareness to ocean science and conservation. Today, its mission has evolved to restore balance to our ocean’s ecosystem through its innovative expeditions, research programs and educational awareness. OCEARCH is unique amongst marine research groups in that they promote a collaborative and open-source philosophy for science. From research expeditions to ocean education programs, OCEARCH offers inclusion at every level.
Groundbreaking OCEARCH Expeditions
From the Galapagos Islands to South Carolina’s coastal Lowcountry, OCEARCH expeditions have provided scientists with unprecedented levels of access to different shark species. On any given expedition, scientists climb aboard the M/V OCEARCH—a 75,000-pound capacity hydraulic platform that serves as both an at-sea laboratory and maritime ship—to study sharks and collect valuable samples from them such as blood, tissue, bacteria and parasites. While onboard the research vessel, scientists have 15 minutes to collect samples, tag the sharks and release them safely back into the ocean. This invaluable data collected at sea is later analyzed to get a clearer picture of the “White Shark Puzzle” and help policymakers create better ocean management policies.
OCEARCH Species Trackers
Thanks to movies such as JAWS, sharks have largely been viewed throughout history as the “baddies.” In reality, sharks are key to keeping our oceans healthy for future generations. Thanks to OCEARCH’s Global Tracker—which tracks sharks and accurately plots their position—the popularity of sharks has skyrocketed in recent years. In fact, sharks such as Mary Lee and Miss Costa have become famous on social media, garnering more than 100,000 Twitter followers combined.
Of course, OCEARCH’s Global Tracker does more than just keep tabs on celebrity sharks. The open-source tracker also gathers valuable data on a variety of marine species, from green sea turtles to pilot whales and more.
Ocean Education Programs
As of 2019, OCEARCH has completed 34 expeditions, tagged 416 animals and partnered with 174 scientists. But the OCEARCH team doesn’t just stop there. OCEARCH STEM is a free STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum for grades K-8 students. The curriculum uses the OCEARCH Global Tracker to teach kids STEM skills while allowing them to track the real-time movements of their favorite sharks. In addition to preparing kids for a future in STEM, OCEARCH is inspiring younger generations to learn about ocean conservation. Perhaps most importantly, OCEARCH is teaching students how to be critical thinkers so they can help solve the problems our ocean faces, now and in the future.
How Have Southern Tide and OCEARCH Partnered?
As a company founded on the water, Southern Tide is proud to call ourselves a partner of the OCEARCH team. Through our shared love of the sea and coastal habitats, we strive to bring awareness for our ocean’s ecosystems and the species that keep them balanced. To do our part (and help you do yours), we’ve designed a collection of OCEARCH “crew approved” apparel.
10 percent of net sales of this collection of shirts, shorts and hats benefits OCEARCH, so you can wake up and do your part by simply getting dressed. As a bonus, the men’s short sleeve performance T-shirt in the collection is made from 18 plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in our beautiful oceans. Looking good and keeping our oceans clean at the same time? We call that a win-win.
Don’t Miss Our Upcoming OCEARCH Contest
If you love the ocean and everything she represents, it’s time to give sharks some love too. That’s why on July 25th, we’re promoting awareness surrounding shark conservation and education by holding a shark-naming contest on Instagram. Here are the rules: Follow Southern Tide and OCEARCH on Instagram, comment your proposed name for the shark (yes, Sharky McShark Face is already taken) and tag three friends. That’s it! The winner will not only have a chance to name an actual shark that OCEARCH tags, but also a win a $1,000 Southern Tide gift card. We’re also giving away a prize pack for five runner-ups, so start brainstorming shark names. Contest ends August 1st. Good luck!