Spatial distribution patterns of basking sharks on the European shelf: Preliminary comparison of satellite-tag geolocation, survey and public sightings data.

Emily Southall, David Sims, J Metcalfe, J Doyle, S Fanshawe, Claire Lacey, Juliet Shrimpton, J-L Solandt, Colin Speedie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current concerns about the population levels of the basking shark (cetorhinus maximus) in the north-east atlantic have prompted a need to understand population distribution, habitat preference and centres of abundance. in this study, spatial distribution maps derived from satellite-tag geolocations, boat surveys and public sightings data were compared. the broad distribution patterns revealed by these different methods are similar, but there are considerable differences in density distributions. surface sightings data show high densities, or ‘hotspots’ in the hebridean sea, clyde sea, irish sea and close inshore around devon and cornwall. tag geolocations, in contrast, identified two areas where individuals spent considerable time outside the distributions indicated by surveys and public sightings: the celtic sea and western approaches of the english channel. the reason for this disparity and its implications for population estimates for the species are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1088
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Volume85
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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