The objective is to represent as many species as possible through accurately identified photographs and videos, says Garrigós, who sees the Sealife Collection as “a single platform where users can see images of a taxon published by subscribed members, upload and compare their own photographs, and get support and discussions on identifications”.
The platform offers a verification process for identifications at both peer and expert level, and allows users to comment on entries and tag “likes” for particular media, he says. It is set up to produce distribution maps, cope with undescribed and cryptic species and hold vernacular names.
“We expect members to extend beyond the community of underwater photographers, who will upload content and populate the database, and to include the scientific, conservation and educational communities,” says Garrigós. Becoming a member is free, with different levels of media licensing available, selected by the user on upload.
The project is an initiative of Alive Fundació, a private foundation set up in Barcelona “to promote and disseminate knowledge and awareness of the environmental sciences”, and is supported, says the Sealife Collection, by “well-known photographers such as Alex Mustard”.
Interested divers can sign up here.