A neighbouring basking shark project based in the Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland is currently tracking a shark through Inishowen waters and along the north Irish coast. ‘Cailleach’is the sharks name who has confirmed previous discoveries by Irish visual tag recordings of shark movements north and now south along the Islay front system.
The grand scale government (Scottish Natural Heritage) coordinated collaboration with the University of Exeter and the internationally acclaimed UK based SeaTurtle.org have thus far deployed 9 of 20 available satellite tags. The initiative which grew from developments and proposals made in Ireland is aimed at establishing the main areas of shark activity on the Scottish west coast with a view to establishing Marine Protected Areas for the species.
According to the projects website updates 8 of the tags are Spot5 tags which are performing excellently in relaying positional data. The single MK10 Fastloc tag deployed does not appear to have relayed live data to date. The findings show the highly mobile nature of the sharks and their easy transience through national boundaries. ‘Cailleach’ has passed through Scottish, Irish, Northern Irish and now returned to Irish waters in the space of 30 days. This track highlights the need for increased conservation measures on a regional scale as ‘Cailleach’ is protected within Scottish and Northern Irish waters but remains unprotected in the Irish Republics territorial waters. You can find more details and see the sharks tracks at Http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?project_id=753