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Argos tags to study enigmatic sea creatures

Sep 8, 2015

Basking sharks are prevalent in the North Atlantic waters, off the coast of Scotland. While it is rarer to spot a basking shark in the Irish Sea, sightings have been reported off the Isle of Man. This is why a new partnership between Sea Life Blackpool and Manx Basking Shark Watch (MBSW) was developed, to study this enigmatic sea creature more closely, with Argos satellite telemetry.

One of the past weeks saw a sudden influx of basking sharks, with 20 spotted in close proximity to the Isle of Man, ranging in size from 2.5m to 9m. Of the 20 spotted, three were successfully satellite tagged, with additional DNA samples taken and basking shark passports completed for 12 of the species.

Argos tracks “Flowrider”, a basking shark, off the British Isle of Man

The tracking data will be relayed to scientists at the Manx Basking Shark Watch. The objective is to raise public awareness and to collect scientific data. In nearby Isle of Tiree, Argos satellite data was used  to prove the presence of a basking shark breeding ground, and prevent the installation of an offshore wind farm in the vicinity. 

Find out how MSBW uses satellite tags

See the map of tagged sharks