Wellington College teacher Andrea Shaw spent 2006 at NIWA as a New Zealand Science, Mathematics & Technology Teacher Fellow.
She met up with budding film directors, Michael, Hugo, Callum, Carlos and Ben, all Year 10 students at Wellington College. Her work with sharks quickly grabbed their attention – and the viewfinders in their cameras.
The shark work was part of the very ambitious Fish-Bol project, an international effort to collect DNA barcodes for all fish species. The goal was that any fish, or part of a fish (such as a fish fillet), can be identified by DNA analysis.
The aim is to benefit conservation efforts by enabling fish to be more easily tracked, for example in fishing quotas and bycatch. It will also make consumer fraud, where high-value fish products are substituted with ones of less value, more easy to prove.
Fish-Bol was part of the Barcode of Life project. It began in July 2005 and the project lasted five years.
The iBOL (International Barcode of Life) iBOL project began in 2007, aims to analyse 5 million specimens representing 500,000 species over 5 years. Their goal is to assemble a library of DNA barcodes and develop technology that can identify species rapidly and inexpensively.