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North or South?

Two more sharks from the Monster Munch project have released their archival tags. Colm doesn’t Cille and Bunagee beauty both tagged off Malin head, Co. Donegal within days of each other have turned up over 3500km apart. Colm doesn’t Cille has released its tag west of Morocco and north of the Canary Islands giving a distance of over 3000km and Bunagee Beauty has released its tag on the west coast of Scotland.

Colm doesn’t Cille is the second shark tracked from Malin head to the coast of Africa and the third from the Islay front area, as the shark tracked by Dr. Whitt as part of an Scottish Natural Heritage initiative was tagged less than 100 away from the Malin head study site and tracked moving south via Malin head. The southern movement trend highlighted by these eastern Atlantic tracks is a important discovery in the jigsaw that the life cycle of the basking shark forms. However the tracking of Bunagee Beauty north to Scotland and its relatively localised movements thereafter highlights the diversity of movement patterns within the species and the unanswered questions regarding the underling reasons for the sharks movements.

Bunagee Beauty and Colm Doesn't Cille pop off locations © Google Maps 2013

The diversity of movement shown by the animals during the tracking studies explain why scientists have been confounded by the sharks life cycle for many generations. More details to follow as the shark tracks are worked up and analysed.

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