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Shark Spotting

This spring sees the launch of ‘Shark Spotting’ a new basking shark project in Malin head and Foyle waters. The Inishowen Basking Shark Study Group is leading the project which is co- funded by the Loughs Agency, Queen University Belfast and a private donor. The main aim of the study is to investigate the use of the Malin Head shark ‘Hotspot’ by basking sharks during 2013. Understanding how sharks use the Malin marine area and the movement of sharks between ‘Hotspots’ in the North east Atlantic is essential for the sustainable management and protection of the species on both a local and regional scale.

Since 2008 the Irish based shark team have established the visual tag mark – recapture method throughout Irish waters. This simple but effective method has highlighted movement trends by sharks within the various ‘Hotspots’ around our coast. The deployment of large numbers of visual tags in the Malin marine area has in particular illustrated the regular movement of sharks into, within and away from coastal sites. In 2012 the IBSSG deployed a new remote tracking method using PATF satellite transmitting tags to record large scale movements of the sharks during the autumn months. This years study will build on our previous tag deployments and the excellent results from the SNH sponsored initiative undertaken by the University of Exeter team on the west coast of Scotland in 2012. To that end we aim to deploy four Wildlife computers SPOT5 tags on individual sharks this spring.

Wildlife Computers Spot Tag  © E. Johnston 2013

The funders have named the four sharks: Foyle, Koisan, Balor andWyville. Descriptive details of the individual sharks and their movements will be available in the Shark Tracker section of the website once they are deployed. For more detailed information see the Shark Spotting project page in the Survey Section.

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