News
Jun 12, 2017

Rare Spotted Ray caught at Annual Scottish Shark-a-Tag Event


The 9th annual Sharkatag event took place on the 3rd and 4th of June this year in southwest Scotland.

 

For the first time ever during the event a Spotted Ray was caught, the angler being Sharkatag veteran Alison Morris on board the Lady Kathrini.

 

Tagged and ready to go back

 

Willie Kennedy, the event organiser, said “ it’s great to see one of these now very rare ray species caught ” , but noted that “ as one has not been taken before in previous Sharkatags it highlights the low numbers which exist now in an area where they were regularly caught previously ”.


There was a great turnout this year with 54 participants on 15 boats and data was collected on 103 sharks or ray which included 5 Tope, 13 Bull Huss, 64 Smoothhounds and 21 Rays although surprisingly no Spurdog were caught. All fish were tagged and then returned alive and well.


The longest tope this year reached a length of 144 cm and was captured by Johnny Watson on Predator. The largest combined length of the five key species (Tope, Bull Huss, Smoothhound, Rays and Spurdog) was by Derek Hughes, also on Predator, with a total length of 294 cm. In the Junior section, Danny Kay caught 1 Smoothhound and 2 Rays (85 cm, 73 cm and 67 cm respectively) to take 1st place. No individual caught more than three species of the five over the two days.


Although the weather was less than ideal, overall the weekend was a great success and achieved the main aim of gathering more data on elasmobranch species in Scottish waters to highlight the continued need for shark and ray conservation and to help raise the public awareness of sea angling.


For more information visit the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network  -  www.ssacn.org - Fish for the Future 

 

or social media -    http://facebook.com/scottishsharktaggingprogramme
                            https://www.facebook.com/SSACNOUTREACH
                            https://twitter.com/Scot_Tag_Sharks

 

Solway Firth Partnership