The tagged shark adopted by the Culdaff community on Inishowen as part of the IDP Monster Munch basking shark community awareness program has reported in its position in the Inner Hebrides. This amounts to an approx. distance of 106 miles displacement in 16 days.
This movement north along the Islay front coupled with the southerly movements of theScottish tagged shark ‘Cailleach’ clearly demonstrate the cross political movement of the sharks and the importance of international collaboration in the management of the species. Conservation measures should be implemented on a larger scale than hitherto undertaken and in much closer collaboration for the benefit of mitigation measures to be truly realised.
These iconic sharks are still unprotected in Irish waters yet once they move les than twenty miles east or north of Malin head into the waters of Scotland and Northern Ireland they are fully protected. In Northern Ireland the species is subject to one of the NIEA priority biodiversity action plans and in Scotland they are preparing to designate Marine Protected Areas for the species. Irish waters play a key role in the life cycle of this species and our project has demonstrated the need for not just this country but all of our neighbours to work together in finding common agreement on how to sustainably manage and conserve this shark, the largest fish in the ocean.