A project of Manx basking shark watch.
click map for full-size version
Species: Basking Shark
Life Stage: Adult
Release Date: 2015-08-07 14:32:58
Release Location: Isle of Man
Last Location: 2017-10-19 18:49:37
FLOWRIDER: THE FIRST SATELLITE-TAGGED BASKING SHARK TO REPEATEDLY MIGRATE FROM BRITISH TO MOROCCAN WATERS !
This huge male basking shark was well over 8m long but as big sharks do he had also 'bulked up'. He was in a large group of at least 20 basking sharks that visited Manx waters for a single day on 7th August 2015. The Manx Basking Shark Watch research team tagged 3 of them. In January 2016 Flowrider became the first basking shark satellite tagged in Manx waters to travel to waters off Morocco. That was exciting enough but the team could hardly contain their delight when he returned to waters offshore of Morocco on 15th November 2016, January 2017 and September 2017. By September 2017 he had kept his tag on for 779 days and he had repeatedly utilised the stretch of water from Scotland to Southern Morocco, at least 3000km!
FLOWRIDER has shown a very interesting migratory pattern, travelling from Manx waters, popping up off the Moroccan coast in January 2016. We didn't hear from his tag again until 31st of March 2016 when it signalled as being up off the French coast. He must have found a good surface plankton bloom to feed from offshore of La Rochelle as he kept on coming to the surface there for 2 weeks. He then popped up for a day near Brest, France. In May 2016 he had been surface feeding off the southern Irish coast for a week when James McCarthy took great drone video footage of Flowrider's school! See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36333770. He then travelled to the north of Ireland and we didn't hear from his tag again until he popped up off Morocco for the second time in January 2017. Florida confounded us by apparently doing no surface feeding in the summer of 2017 and then popping up again way West of the Straights of Gibraltar and feeding on the surface there for a week. WHERE WAS HE the whole summer of 2017?
When we add the results of all basking shark researchers together we start to see an overall pattern of seasonal migrations between British, French, Spanish and Moroccan waters that will enable Marine planners to make informed Marine Management decisions. See more about satellite tagged basking sharks at www.wildlifetracking.org. As you will see, Dr Matt Witt of Exeter University has tagged some basking sharks in NW Scotland that have gone to Moroccan waters.
MANY thanks to SEALIFE BLACKPOOL for raising enough money to enable us to recycle this tag and re-use it and for nick-naming this shark Flowrider. The Manx Lottery Trust has very kindly sponsored some satellite time on this project known as "There's a basking shark on my phone".