As mentioned in a previous post, researchers at the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station have been deploying satellite tags on basking sharks in the Bay of Fundy to study their migration. The data that the tags collect include position (lat/long) and depth. These satellite tags are a pop-up archival tag that pop off the shark after about 285 days and float to the surface, where they transmit all of the data via satellite. Last year, we deployed 6 satellite tags. This year, we’ve deployed 4 and have another 3 to deploy (if the weather ever cooperates!).
All of our tagged sharks from last summer headed south for the winter. One of the tags we deployed on a basking shark last summer popped off in February, just north of Bermuda, in the Sargasso Sea.
Another one of our tags popped off in February just off of Cuba!
Andrew Stevenson lives in Bermuda, but was recently on a whale watch off Brier Island, NS on August 23, 2012. It seems Andrew and the basking sharks in the Bay of Fundy have the same idea: spend part of the summer in the Bay of Fundy, but spend the winter in Bermuda! He sighted a basking shark in Westport Harbour, N.S. and took the two photos below. These are the first photos we’ve received from the Nova Scotia side of the Bay of Fundy and we’re excited to see if this individual matches any of the individuals we’ve seen this year. Thanks Andrew!