Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man shark research given 'last-minute' funding

Tagging basking shark
Image caption Shark satellite tags cost about £4,000

Marine scientists in the Isle of Man have received "last-minute" sponsorship for basking shark research.

The funding has come from both the Manx government and local finance company, Tower Insurance.

It will go towards a satellite tagging programme, which provides data about shark migration and feeding habits.

Jackie Hall from Manx Basking Shark Watch (MBSW) said the last-minute funding means two more sharks can be tagged and monitored in 2012.

She added: "When we started, no-one knew the behaviours or the understanding for the behaviours and patterns we are seeing.

"We, as a small group of volunteers, have answered a lot of those key questions in the last few years.

'Shoe-string' budget

"We operate on a shoe-string but we simply can't afford the tags unless people sponsor them."

MBSW has successfully tagged and tracked 18 basking sharks since 2007.

The tags, which cost about £4,000 each, are attached to the shark's dorsal fin and detach themselves after 226 days, during which they stream data to a satellite.

This summer the MBSW will be able to tag two sharks.

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