Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Basking Shark tagging project!!

Have just been sent some extremely exciting news about a joint project being undertaken by Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of Exeter. Several Basking Sharks have been fitted with satellite tags and are being followed as they move around in Scottish waters.

The idea is to try and find out how long they remain in certain areas, how are they using their chosen feeding locations, where they go after they spend the summer in Scottish waters and, even , whether some of them actually remain with us through the winter and in deeper waters. Without stealing their thunder, read all the details on this helpful web site (Basking Shark tagging project. ). I know I'm going to find this exercise utterly absorbing given we see Basking Sharks off Islay's shores from time to time, with records arising from a variety of places, ( Outer Loch Indaal, off the west coast close to Portnahaven and at various locations off the southern part of the island ). In late August, 2010 several were around for a few days in the Sound of Islay and provided tremendous views. Not that you see a lot of them, other than a fin, given the huge size of many of the individuals!!! The public are encouraged to assist via the return of any of the  tags ( they detach after a period ) which may be found on a beach or elsewhere, so more information will undoubtedly follow.

Acknowledgment to R.Pickering ( Photographer ).

But the story gets even better and I guarantee will be as compelling as your viewing of the Olympics in past days. You can actually access a web site and follow the journeys of each of the individuals concerned. Better still, you can elect for daily E-mail updates on what is happening ( Follow your favourite Basking Shark!! )
You have to accept certain understandable conditions about not using the data, but the request for updates etc is absolutely "painless" and the plethora of information overwhelming.Well done to all concerned. I shall now go and bask in the wonder of it all!!

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