Recapture of a tope shark tagged off Scotland
Portuguese Institute of Ocean and Atmosphere
21. May 2014
A tope (Galeorhinus galeus) tagged off Scotland, United Kingdom, was recaptured in Portuguese waters, around Peniche. The individual was tagged under the “UK shark tagging program” (Ocean & Earth Science National Oceanography Centre, Southampton), that addresses 14 shark species. This program is aimed at sport shark anglers who record, tag and release the sharks that they catch. Recapture was made with gillnets by the commercial fishing vessel “Francisco Maria”, to whose a reward was granted. This individual was then sampled at Peniche landing port by IPMA technicians, under the National Biological Sampling Program (PNAB/DCF). All the information collected was sent to the program administrator at the United Kingdom. The minimal distance traveled by this tope was 952 nautical miles (over than 1700 km) in 844 days at liberty. During this period, it grew 10 cm approximately. Tope distributes in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, from surface to 470 m deep. It is a viviparous shark species that attains 2 m total length and a maximum age of 60 years. Its diet is mainly composed by fishes and cephalopods. This species makes extensive migrations; individuals tagged in the United Kingdom during the course of this program were recaptured in that country and along the coasts of Ireland, Iceland, Norway, France, Spain (including one recapture in the Mediterranean), and Portugal (including Madeira and Azores).