NAFC Marine Centre reports tagged shark recapture Published: 23 October, 2007
THE NAFC Marine Centre has reported that last Friday the Arcturus LK59 landed a tagged tope (Galeorhinus galeus). The tope, which is a species of shark, was taken to the Centre and further investigations revealed that it was tagged and released at Mid-Cardigan Bay in Wales on June 14, 2003.
Dr Chevonne Laurenson, fisheries biologist at the NAFC Marine Centre, said: We recorded the tope, a female, as weighing 12.32kg and measuring 1.4 metres. We contacted the UK Shark Tagging Co-ordinator at the University of Southampton who confirmed where it had originally been tagged and released, weighing at that time just 15lb (6.8kg).
The Arcturus caught the tope 12 miles north east of Lamba Ness in Unst. This suggests that it may have swum more that 590 miles (950km) from where it was released.
Tope are small, fast-swimming sharks native to UK waters. They are known to feed on small fish and flatfish, and have also been reported to hunt in packs when mackerel are abundant. Females grow to a much larger size than males and give birth to around 30 pups in the summer, usually in inshore waters.
This recapture is interesting considering the time and distance involved. Tagging provides valuable data on growth rates and migrations but relies on fishermen to report recaptures. We were glad to assist the Arcturus in the reporting of this recapture.”
Further information on the UK Shark Tagging Programme can be found at www.ukshark.co.uk
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