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Basking shark tagging project

Scottish Natural Heritage and the University of Exeter external site have joined forces in an exciting basking shark satellite tagging project focused on the west coast of Scotland. A total of 61 satellite tags have been deployed on basking sharks in Scotland between 2012 and 2014 with the aim of solving some of the mysteries about their behaviour.

Aninterim Phase 2 report  PDF document is now available with the latest findings of the project. The updated data shows the first evidence that individual sharks have returned to the same location in Scotland in subsequent years, and highlights further information on migration movements.

The Phase 1 Commission Reportcan be found here.

Some of the questions we hope the project will help answer includes:

  • How long do basking sharks remain feeding in certain areas in Scottish waters?
  • How are the sharks using these areas which are important to them for feeding and potentially breeding?
  • Where do basking sharks go after their summer feeding in Scotland's seas?
  • Do the sharks remain in deeper waters off Scotland over winter?

How can you help? Return any tags you find!

You can help the project by returning any detached tags you come across. The tags are designed to eventually detach from the sharks and they can get washed-up onto the beach. The tags will provide us with a lot of information whilst attached to the sharks but if we can retrieve them after they fall off we can learn even more. If you return a tag you can also claim a reward  PDF document !

Please keep an eye open when you are on the shore for tags (see photo). If you do find a tag, please contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Oban Office on 0300 244 9360, or email -

Last updated on Wednesday 3rd June 2015 at 16:49 PM. Click here to comment on this page