The Shark Trust, a U.K. charity dedicated to the worldwide conservation of sharks, is promoting a citizen project called The Great Eggcase Hunt Project.

Since 2003, the Great Eggcase Hunt has engaged the public in hunting for spent shark, skate and ray eggcases (or ‘mermaid’s purses’) washed up on beaches throughout the year. This project asks members of the public to scour beaches for these empty capsules and then use an identification guide to discover which species they belong to. The waters around the British Isles support a diversity of shark, skate and ray (elasmobranch) species, many of which have experienced significant population declines in recent decades.

These empty eggcases are an easily accessible source of information on the whereabouts of potential nursery grounds and will provide the Trust with a better understanding of species abundance and distribution.