Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is proud to announce its sponsorship of a satellite tag to help Manx Basking Shark Watch in its conservation work.
The Manx Basking Shark Watch, a Manx Wildlife Trust charity project, has been studying local basking sharks since 2005. Satellite tagging is a significant area of its research, with the findings gained from the programme having led to the discovery of a real possibility of a very local school of these sharks.
Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world and are exceedingly rare. It is estimated that only 6,000-8,000 breeding females remain, having been all but wiped out after being hunted for their liver oil and fins, and the fact that they are very slow breeders. Satellite tagging and tracking information is crucial in the preservation of this species, as local and international governments and conservation bodies can analyse findings and learn how best to conserve this remnant population for future generations.
Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We are delighted to be able to offer our support to Manx Basking Shark Watch and to recognise the incredible work that it does. As basking sharks are endangered but well-known in Manx waters, this is an extremely worthwhile project that benefits the entire Island community, and we look forward to hearing about their developments and findings in the near future.’
Jackie Hall from Manx Basking Watch said ‘Our research indicates we don’t have many sharks left in the Irish Sea so these tags are vital to make informed wildlife management decisions. We are very grateful to the Steam Packet for their assistance. A male shark was tagged on the 13th August and we have named him King Orry to reflect the Company sponsorship, he can be followed online at www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com