Rare Spotted Ray caught at Annual Scottish Shark-a-Tag Event

Press Release

Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN)

12. June 2017

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The 9th annual Sharkatag event took place on the 3rd and 4th of June this year in southwest Scotland.

For the first time ever during the event a Spotted Ray was caught, the angler being Sharkatag veteran Alison Morris on board the Lady Kathrini.

Willie Kennedy, the event organiser, said “ it’s great to see one of these now very rare ray species caught ” , but noted that “ as one has not been taken before in previous Sharkatags it highlights the low numbers which exist now in an area where they were regularly caught previously ”.

There was a great turnout this year with 54 participants on 15 boats and data was collected on 103 sharks or ray which included 5 Tope, 13 Bull Huss, 64 Smoothhounds and 21 Rays, surprisingly no Spurdog were caught. All fish were tagged and then returned alive and well.

The longest tope this year reached a length of 144 cm and was captured by Johnny Watson on Predator. The largest combined length of the five key species (Tope, Bull Huss, Smoothhound, Rays and Spurdog) was by Derek Hughes, also on Predator, with a total length of 294 cm. In the Junior section, Danny Kay caught 1 Smoothhound and 2 Rays (85 cm, 73 cm and 67 cm respectively) to take 1st place. No individual caught more than three species of the five over the two- days.

Although the weather was less than ideal, overall the weekend was a great success and achieved the main aim of gathering more data on elasmobranch species in Scottish waters to highlight the continued need for shark and ray conservation and to help raise the public awareness of sea angling.

The image shows one of the keen anglers about to return a tagged fish.

Source and photo credit: SSACN


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