TORONTO, May 13 (UPI) -- A Canadian researcher says he turned to Facebook for help in quickly identifying thousands of fish species as part of a research project.
University of Toronto Scarborough doctoral candidate Devin Bloom helped conduct the first ichthyological survey on Guyana's remote Cuyuni River in January. In the two-week survey, Bloom and other researchers caught as many fish as they could, eventually collecting more than 5,000 specimens, a UTS release said Friday.
That's where the problem came in, Bloom said.
To get permission to take the fish out of the country for study, the researchers needed an accurate count of each species for a detailed report to the Guyanese government.
Needing to return to North America as soon as possible, they had just a few days to identify thousands of fish specimens. That's when Bloom suggested Facebook.
After uploading photos of all the different kinds of fish caught, within less than 24 hours the researchers' network of friends and colleagues had identified almost every species.
With the identifications supplied by a network of "diehard fish-heads," Bloom said, the team was able to deliver its results to the government and return home on schedule.