𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗵: 𝗦𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗯𝗶𝗼𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁.
𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑘 𝑜𝑓 𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑠 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑠 𝑖𝑚𝑚𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑢𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔 𝑒𝑚𝑝𝑡𝑦 𝑏𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑓𝑢𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑓𝑢𝑙 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑦 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑒𝑑 𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑠. 𝑀𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑠𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑑 𝑠𝑒𝑎 𝑠𝑛𝑎𝑖𝑙𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑛𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑛𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑏𝑦 𝑠ℎ𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑜𝑤 𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑟𝑤𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑠, 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑛𝑡.
Because they are from shallow water, they are easy to study, and scientists have spent a lot of time understanding the life and distribution of these marine molluscs.
But what about those snails that live in much deeper waters?
Because working underwater is so hard, scientists haven’t been able to study these snails nearly as closely, and don’t even really know how many species inhabit our oceans. To help with this problem, scientists have built models using variables such as water temperature, depth, substratum type and species distribution to predict habitat types.
While this technology usually includes large mobile species such as fish, many of the smaller, numerous and more diverse groups that live on our on the ocean floor (such as sea snails) has not yet been included to help predict our marine habitat types.
Unfortunately, without this knowledge, we are unable to properly understand complex deep-sea ecosystems and cannot properly manage the sustainable use of Africa’s diverse marine resources, both for commercial fishing as well as for the millions of African’s who rely on daily subsistence fishing.
𝑇𝑜 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝 𝑎𝑑𝑑𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑚, 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑗𝑒𝑐𝑡 𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑏𝑢𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑑𝑎𝑡𝑎 𝑜𝑓 𝑜𝑓𝑓𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑒 (𝑑𝑒𝑒𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 30 𝑚) 𝑚𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑢𝑠𝑐𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑑𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑁𝑎𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑀𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑢𝑚 𝐷𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑚𝑚𝑒 (1981 – 1997) 𝑡𝑜 𝑓𝑢𝑟𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛𝑣𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑔𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑦𝑝𝑒𝑠. 𝐼𝑛 𝑑𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑠𝑜, 𝑤𝑒 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑤ℎ𝑖𝑐ℎ 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑖𝑛𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑚 𝑝𝑜𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑔𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑛𝑖𝑐 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑡 𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠.