The Manx Basking Shark Watch/ Manx Wildlife Trust team put a satellite tag on a 5.5m male long basking shark that we nick-named Mister Tailor on June 8th 2013. His tagging is part of a project sponsored by the Manx Lottery Trust called “There’s a basking shark on my phone”. His satellite tag was sponsored by DONG Energy.

We tagged him off the West coast of the Isle of Man. After feeding off the Manx coast for a while he then delighted us by heading north and feeding for a long time around the Scottish Island of Mull hence proving a link between the basking sharks that feed there and the ones that feed in Manx waters. His tag stayed on for more than a year until it came off near the East coat of Ireland in June 2014. 

We heard nothing from the tag once the battery had run out in July 2014 so we were delighted when we were recently contacted by Shelly Cuff, a keen beachcomber, who had found the tag on a beach in Luce Bay, Scotland. Shelly received a £50 reward for returning the tag. It is fascinating to see that the tag and the attachment that links it to the shark is still largely intact even after a year on the shark and another year in the sea.

Graham with Mister Tailor's tag back in 2016 IMG_5816

Graham Hall, the Manx Basking Shark Watch Technical Officer inspecting Mister tailor’s tag after it has been returned to him after a year on the shark, a year in the sea and several months on Shelly Cuff’s Beachcomber display in her garden.

Shelly told us about finding the tag and her detection trail to find what it was and who it belonged to. She told us: “Whilst we are at our caravan in Luce Bay, Scotland one of my favourite pastimes is beach combing. I can spend hours with my nose to the ground hunting for treasures most of which end up back at our van. In April 2015 I came across an object in the strandline which I thought was a model remote control Submarine. Of course I took it back with me and put it in my seaside garden display. I also posted some pictures of it on the beachcombing Facebook page and several people told me it was a device for measuring the depth of the sea from the back of a boat. I thought no more about it until earlier this year when someone else commented on my post and told me it was a tag off either a whale or shark and that there would hopefully be the firm’s details and also a serial number on it. I found the relevant details and contacted Wildlife tags who quickly replied and said they could trace the owner from the serial number.
The next few days were exciting waiting to hear what had worn the tag and where it was from. I was so pleased to hear from Jackie and be told about Mr Tailor, I do hope he turns up again soon. “.

Mister Tailor. Right Fin Dorsal and Caudal. Natasha Phillips.

‘Mister Tailor’ is easily recognisable as his tail is so badly damaged that it looks like he has 2 dorsal fins!

See where Mister Tailor got to at http://www.wildlifetracking.org/index.shtml…