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© Irish Basking Shark Group


2011 - 2013 | Completed Project


The Timed Depth Recorder (TDR) tagging project is located in the Malin Head area and funded by the Inishowen Development Partnership. It aims to link locally-based but internationally significant scientific research with practical outcomes for commercial tourism operators. The TDR project is undertaken with Queen's University Belfast as the scientific oversee. The project objectives are to investigate shark-surfacing patterns and link these movements with key hydrological, meteorological and biological drivers. TDRs had never been deployed on basking sharks prior to this study, and the team is developing two new prototype tags in order to achieve the project aims:



short term deployment tag with mini radio transmitter for aid of retrieval


long term deployment tag to be washed ashore and retrieved by members of public


  • Investigate shark surfacing and dive patterns

  • Identify and link shark vertical movements with hydrological, meteorological and biological drivers

  • Develop habitat weightings for distance sampling surveys

  • Disseminate knowledge, data and imagery to Inishowen-based tourism providers


  • Deploy TDRs on basking sharks

  • Sample and monitor hydrological, meteorological and biological characteristics of Inishowen coastal waters



  • Habitat weightings for distance sampling survey techniques

  • Production of practical, simple and effective advice on sharks sighting probabilities for commercial tourism operators



Emmett Johnston | Project coordinator

Jonathan Houghton | Scientific oversight

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