Sharkatag 2009 results

The venue for Sharkatag 2009 was the western end of The Solway in South West Scotland and the event ran from the 12th to the 14th of June.

Key Points

  • 175 Anglers pre-registered for the event
  • 92% via the web page
  • 29 additional angler walk ups
  • 4 shore anglers, 24 kayaks and 50 boats took part
  • 204 anglers – fished 476 rod days in total
  • 90% of the anglers came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway; 36% from outwith Scotland
  • 530 shark were caught and 222 were tagged.
  • None were killed.
  • Sharkatag was featured on BBC Breakfast TV, BBC National news, STV, Internet TV, Radio5 Live, BBC World Service and reported in many newspapers and angling specialist press, web sites and forums.

Numbers of fish tagged

The fish tagged by species were :

Tope

Huss

Spurdog

Ray

Smoothhound

182

13

10

6

9

Sharkatag in Summary

Sharkatag involved volunteer anglers operating out of three centres – Drummore, Sandhead and Whithorn.They took part from the shore, in kayaks and in boats – fishing for, tagging and releasing tope, spurdog, smoothhound and ray.

Though everyone enjoyed Sharkatag and the 220 fish tagged represent a goodly number, other than a few solitary females in the 50-60 pound range being taken, there was actually cause for concern as :

  • the  whole region seemed  to be void of the expected male breeding stock
  • the majority of the fish caught being mostly immature females, typically under twenty pounds 
  • Luce Bay was especially poor for the time of year.

These factors combined with the lack of rays tagged, only three throughout Sharkatag, shows how urgently plans are needed to help protect and regenerate the stocks. Twenty years ago virtually every boat would have recorded many mature tope and rays.

With a little political will and some proactive measures, the decline could be halted and the Solway could become a European centre of excellence for sea angling.

A report covering the results of the vent and a post event survey can be downloaded from here.

Category: Shark Bites

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