SSACN’s Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) was created to provide a specific focus on Scottish shark, skate and ray species and facilitate the collection of data to help determine the species life history (growth rates, maturation size) and population ecology (distribution, population number, migrations) of sharks, skates and rays in Scottish waters; additional objectives are to:
- Increase public awareness
- Encourage use of “codes of best practice”
- Highlight sea anglers conservation efforts
- Show government agencies that sea anglers are a vital part of data gathering, and
- That properly managed sea angling stocks can provide huge socio economic benefits
- Directly contribute to shark fisheries management
Joining the SSTP is free – just use the ‘Contact Us’ page to send us an email. Answers to some of the more frequently asked questions follow :
- Why Save Sharks ? Most sharks serve as top predators in the marine food pyramid and so play a critical role in ocean ecosystems. Directly or indirectly they help regulate the natural balance of these ecosystems and so are an integral part of them. The effects of removing any species of shark from a local ecosystem are likely to be ecologically and economically damaging.
- What else do the SSTP do ? SSACN and the SSTP work in partnership with government agencies like the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Marine Directorate and Fisheries Research Scientists (FRS) and academic institutions such as Millport Marine Laboratory and Glasgow University to help provide a focal point for shark research.
- How do anglers notify the SSTP of captures ? Recapture details can be sent by post or entered on-line; in the case of recaptures all anglers will receive details of any previous activity including data such as days at liberty, distance traveled, weight/length gain, etc;
- Will the data I provide be safe? Tagging information will NOT be distributed to any group or body whose interests are inconsistent with the conservation of species; data will only be available in its ‘raw and total’ format to a limited number of ‘approved’ scientists and any such information given out from the database will be subject to non-disclosure agreements.
- Did the SSTP start from scratch? No – the Glasgow Museum and UK Shark Tagging Programmes contributed their existing data concerning Scottish sharks into the new database.
- Special Events The SSTP run a series of events throughout the year to increase the opportunity for gathering data. The Events also have a good social side and many tales are told, over a beer or two, about the “ones that got away”
More information on the SSTP can be found here.