Although it has been quiet the last two weeks with only occasional sightings of basking sharks reported, the Basking Shark team managed to deploy a further five tags on Wednesday 14 July off Dingle, Co Kerry. These are the first tags deployed in the Kingdom this year. In addition six more sharks were sampled for DNA using the slime sampling system pioneered by Simon Berrow and Emmett Johnston last year. This makes a total of 30 individual sharks sampled during 2010 a good sample size. The genetic analysis is being carried out by Lilian Lieber and Les Noble in the University of Aberdeen.
We have had an interesting re-sighting of a red tagged shark off Port Mor, Isle of Muck, Sea of the Hebrides on 14 July at 16:00. This sighting was made by Ronnie Dyer, skipper of the M/V Shearwater and passed to the Irish Basking Shark Study Group via Colin Speedie. There were two re-sightings of sharks from Co Donegal from the Inner Hebrides during 2009 so this re-inforces the hypothesis of a northerly movement of sharks from Ireland to Scotland.
Although the number could not be read only the colour it is likely to be one tagged in west Cork on 26 or 27 May. This is a movement of around 800km in 48 days.
So tags are still being deployed, samples taken for genetics and re-sightings coming in marking another very successful year for the Basking Shark Study funded for the second year running by the Heritage Council.