The Monster Munch project tagged shark Green Marine has checked in again this time off the coast of Wales in the Southern Irish Sea. This area has been previously highlighted by Archival tag projects initiated off the Isle of Man (www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com). The movement of green marine coupled with the movement of Bunagee Beauty north to the Hebridean sea and the movement of Colm doen’t Cille west down the coast of Ireland displays an incredible diversity of tracks taken by the sharks throughout their time in Inshore waters.
These movements support the proposed theory that there is a single genetic population throughout the north east Atlantic, however it does not disprove theories on seasonal subgroup site fidelity, as Malin head is a central meeting point of many water bodies and tidal currents. It may be that Malin head is a temporal crossroads for the species at which point sub-populations interact or that there is no sub-populations and the sharks movements are based on more fluid influences.
Whatever the case, five basking sharks tagged within days of each other at Malin head have now dispersed across the north east Atlantic in separate directions. Now that the winter draws close we expect sharks to spend less time on the surface and thus offer less opportunity for locations to be transmitted via satellite. As tags pop off over the coming months the team will receive a full suite of archived data on the shark’s movements both horizontally and vertically. Will these shark tags provide the answer to many of the most puzzling marine biological questions of the century or will our increase in knowledge on the species fuel more theories and speculation on their habits? Stay connected and get the latest news and discussions on our website news feed and facebook page.