One of the two Mk 10 pop off satellite tags deployed by the Irish basking shark study Group in 2009 has been found on Orkney this month! The tag is very battered and faded but more importantly it is in working order and will be able to download it vital records.
The Sat Tag which was deployed on the coast of Kerry on the 14 July 2009 and popped off its host shark on 1st of January 2010 again near the coast of Kerry (see pic.). That was over thirteen months ago and how the tag drifted from south coast of Ireland to Orkney without making landfall is an incredible mystery in its self. The currents and winds on the West Coast of Ireland truly is a dynamic environment and to piece together the movements and flows of the waters and tag will be a daunting challenge.
Mauivis Gore of Millphort Marine Research Station on the Isle of Bute, Scotland with whom the Irish based researchers teamed up for this element of their studies, made contact last week informing the team that the tag had been found and reported to her. " Simply incredible, we are all a little puzzled," said Dr Simon Berrow who led the Irish element of the joint study. The tag although bruised battered and a much paler faded colour is now downloading its vital data records and the research team here in Ireland are eagerly awaiting the results. More on this to follow.