The SSTP


The Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) is run by the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network, its objectives are to :

  • To tag and record data on many of the shark, skate and ray species found within Scottish coastal waters
  • Increase public awareness highlighting the need for shark protection
  • 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 at the pinnacle of the marine food pyramid, and so play a critical role in ocean ecosystems. Directly or indirectly they regulate the natural balance of these ecosystems – at all levels – and so are an integral part of them. The effects of removing sharks from ocean ecosystems, although complex and rather unpredictable, are likely to be ecologically and economically damaging.
  • What else do the SSTP do ?SSACN and the SSTP will 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. We are also seeking funding for satellite tags and for stock survey assessments. Commercial fishermen are a huge source of knowledge and we will endeavour to liaise with fishers to ensure best practice on discarded fish and hopefully use their knowledge to ascertain bycatch analysis.
  • 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 travelled, weight/length gain, etc;
  • Will the data I provide be safe?The SSTP will accumulate the tagging information on a database and this data will NOT be distributed to any group or body with any commercial fishing interests. The control of data will be closely guarded, and only available in its ‘raw and total’ format to a limited number of ‘approved’ scientists. Any information given out from the database will be subject to non-disclosure agreements.
  • Did the SSTP start from scratch?No - the Glasgow Museum and the UK Shark Tagging Programmes agreed to input 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 number of fish caught and tagged. 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.