Scientists offer reward for Basking shark tag

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A team of scientists studying the behaviour of Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) off the British coast are offering a £200 reward to anyone returning a tag they attached to a shark off the Isle of Man in July.

The team believe the tag is currently floating around 13km/8 miles off the Pembrokeshire coast, close to Skomer Island.

The device is worth about £3500 and if retrieved will provide important data about the enigmatic species, including feeding behaviour and swimming depth information.

Once found the tag could also be used again next summer.

Manx Basking Shark Watch tagged three of the ocean-going giants during 2011 and are hoping the data on shark movements the tags provide will add to that already gained from the 18 sharks they have tagged since 2007, with the long term aim of the project being to improve international shark protection.

Basking sharks are the second largest fish species in the world, growing in excess of 10m/30', but are harmless plankton feeders. The gentle giants are protected within British waters and are listed as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

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