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Satellite Tracking

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Mae - Manx Basking Shark Watch 2017-2018

A project of Manx Basking Shark Watch.

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'Mae' is at least 7.5m long with a sleek undamaged dorsal fin, a round, mature body and evidence of a male's bite marks on one of her pectoral fin and scuff marks on her pelvic fins. These marks may indicate that she has mated recently so her plump body may be hiding an interesting secret! We put her satellite tag on near a fantastic rock formation called the DRINKING DRAGON, Isle of Man. We didn't hear from her until November when she popped up in a familiar basking shark over-wintering area, the Celtic Deep. Very sadly it now appears that Mae may have been accidentally caught in a fishing trawl in the Celtic Deep as her satellite tag has now appeared in the fishing village of Greencastle in Northern Ireland.

Background

'Mae' is at least 7.5m long with a sleek undamaged dorsal fin, a round, mature body and evidence of a male's bite marks on one of her pectoral fin and scuff marks on her pelvic fins. These marks may indicate that she has mated recently so her plump body may be hiding an interesting secret!
We did a full basking shark passport on Mae, taking dorsal fin photos and a length estimate of 7.5m. We peeked beneath her with a pole camera to see if she was a male or a female and we took a tiny sample of skin slime to send to Aberdeen University for DNA analysis. Last but not least we put a beautiful shiny (and VERY expensive) satellite tag on her.
She is named Mae after team member Graham Hall's new granddaughter. Baby Mae weighed about 1 kg when she was born a few weeks ago whereas basking shark Mae probably weighs about 4000kg.
A BIG thank you to Sue Whittacker who was kind enough to let us know where this shark was.

  • The presentation of data here does not constitute publication. All data remain copyright of the project partners. Maps or data on this website may not be used or referenced without the explicit written consent of the data owners.
  • For more information please visit the project website.
  • This map connects positions generated by the ARGOS system designated as location class (lc) '3', '2', '1', '0', 'A', 'B'. Locations that have been "filtered" are displayed as small red dots.
  • This maps also shows locations of class 'Z', 'X' as small black dots which are not connected by a route line.
  • Bathymetry layers are derived from the GEBCO One Minute Grid.
  • Sea surface temperature and chlorophyll are derived from NASA's Ocean Color data.
  • Ocean currents and sea surface heights are derived from AVISO's Ssalto/Duacs Gridded Absolute Dynamic Topography & absolute geostrophic velocities data.

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