Shark and Ray Tagging
Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme
Inland Fisheries Ireland's Marine Sport-fish Tagging Programme was initiated in 1970 by the Inland Fisheries Trust, who had responsibility for developing and promoting recreational sea angling.
By the late 1960s, results from sea angling competitions were showing a decline in the capture of some of the most important species such as Blue Shark, Tope, Monkfish, Skates and Rays.
At that time, virtually all fish caught by anglers were killed and taken ashore for weighing and photographic opportunities.
As little was known at the time about the biology and migration patterns of these species, the Inland Fisheries Trust decided to introduce a tagging programme with the explicit purpose of introducing conservation measures and to learn more about the migratory patterns of sea angling species. All tags used to date in the Marine Sport Fish Tagging Programme can be identified by their label - "Fisheries Board Ireland Reward". Though the tags appear in a variety of colours and shapes, the text "Fisheries Board Ireland Reward" and a unique ID number are present on each tag.
Measuring a Common Skate before tag and release
Tags are attached to a variety of Marine Fish around the Irish Coastline. If you catch a tagged fish please send details of the location (as accurate as possible) of recapture, date, time and method.
As well as this if you intend to release the fish please record the details on the tag number. If possible, also weigh the fish (estimate if no scales available) and length (from tip of snout to end of tail) of the fish, as well as method of recapture.
A specimen Tope, tagged before release
Northern Ireland marine species
There is room for further Shark and Ray tagging to be carried out around the shores of Northern Ireland. With this in mind, www.angling-ireland.com has acquired a limited number of tagging kits for tagging Shark species, Skate and large Rays. This is through generous donation by Inland Fisheries Ireland.
A small Porbeagle being a "good boy" for a minute
Boat anglers in Northern Ireland that target these species and wish to take part in the tagging scheme may apply for one of these kits from www.angling-ireland.com. Each kit comprises of a tag applicator, a number of jumbo tags and a booklet-diary to record information. Please contact us if you are interested in tagging and recording some of our Shark and Ray species. The information recorded will be treated with discretion and the important data will go towards the constant goal of protecting these fragile species and their habitat around the off-shore waters of Northern Ireland. Contact us using the enquiry form attached.
163lb female, prior to release