A Basking Shark tagged off County Clare on the western seaboard of Ireland this year was recently re-sighted off the west coast of Scotland. The shark was tagged on 25 April 2020 with a numbered red coloured tag off Kilkee and was re-sighted nearly 600km further north on 19 August 2020 near Hyskier Lighthouse in the Sea of the Hebrides. This re-sighting record, 116 days after the tag was deployed confirms the connectivity between Irish and Scottish waters.
Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Basking Shark Group who tagged the shark off west Clare in April said “we have long been aware that sharks in Irish waters are moving north through the early summer along the west coast and into Scottish waters, but this is the longest duration between re-sightings of our simple shark tags, which is fantastic and encouraging”.
The tagged shark was observed by snorkelling with Basking Shark Scotland. Founder Shane Wasik said “This is the third Irish tag we have recorded in recent years and it gives us a great sense of purpose to contribute to this Irish conservation led research project. The passenger were very excited to discover the tag and were so pleased to hear about the match from IBSG group. We welcome future scientific collaboration to assist in the understanding of this species and work towards protection over their entire Atlantic migration”.
“The Irish Basking Shark Group have tagged over 500 individual sharks since 2008 and it’s not unexpected that we are getting regular records from movements between Donegal and Scotland, but to get a re-sighting after from Co Clare after such a long period and distance demonstrates that other areas of Ireland also share this shark population,” said Dr Emmett Johnston, who works closely with Dr Berrow on the long-running Irish shark tagging project.
Basking sharks first appear in inshore Irish waters in the early spring between April and May, but generally appear later off the west coast of Scotland. This is thought to be linked to the later zooplankton bloom further north off Scotland, which are the sharks main prey.
This research is important to demonstrate that these sharks cross international boundaries and any management needs to consider their whole range. Basking sharks are protected under a suite of legislation in the UK including Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Sea of the Hebrides is also proposed as a Marine Protected Area for basking sharks by the Scottish government. No such measures exist for Ireland but Dr Berrow commented positively that “major collaborations are now underway in Irish waters that will provide vital information on how best to conserve these magnificent sharks while they are in our care”.
For information on the Irish Basking Shark Groupplease visit their website by clicking here.
For more information about Basking Shark Scotland visit their website by clicking here.
Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados
In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.
Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.
Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)
Introduced by Jeff Goodman
Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.
A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.
CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.
Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.
During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!
Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.
For more information about the CCMI click here.
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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Northern Diver to give away one of their NDB5 Holdall...
Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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