History of Manx Basking Shark Watch
Founded by Jackie and Graham Hall in 2004, MBSW was dedicated to studying basking sharks in Manx waters through its public sightings scheme, tagging work and DNA sampling. After 17 years of research, they have handed over the reins to Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch to make way for retirement.
Timeline of Manx Basking Shark Watch compiled by Jackie Hall.
- 2004 Marine Conservation Society (UK) asks Manx Wildlife Trust to collect IOM basking shark public sightings data
- 2004 Jackie Hall sets up first MBSW website with phone and paper data report scheme. One year later in 2005 John Galpin sets up Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch. The two groups help each other with their findings.
- 2005 First year data collection. A clear pattern emerges: Basking shark hotspots on South and Southwest coast of the IOM. Most sightings mid-May to mid August. Basking shark schools coming through Manx waters in waves. Putative courtship behaviour. Sharks from 1.5m to 8.0m. New-born basking sharks
- 2007 Satellite tags on 3 sharks (MK10Pat). New website.
- 2008 Scientific paper (A Manx-tagged shark crosses the Atlantic). 3 satellite tags on (MK10Pat)
- 2009 Conference in Port Erin ‘Basking Sharks a Global Perspective’. 3 more satellite tags on (MK10Pat). Collaboration commences with Aberdeen Uni. Genetic analysis of skin slime-Basking shark ‘Passports’ commenced. Jackie and Graham Hall buy motorboat ‘Happy Jack’ for shark research
- 2010 Collaboration with MWDW Dolphineers volunteering on Happy Jack
- 2011 Satellite tagging of 3 more sharks (MK10Pat). Dolphineers from MWDW work with MBSW on Happy Jack
- 2012 Satellite tagging of 3 more sharks (MK10Pat). Dolphineers from MWDW work with MBSW on Happy Jack
- 2013 Collaboration with Exeter University commences. Satellite tagging of 5 sharks (SPOT tags). Scientific paper re using skin slime for genetic analysis
- 2014 Boat work but no tagging
- 2015 Satellite tagging of 3 sharks (SPOT tags)
- 2016 Satellite tagging of 2 sharks (SPOT tags)
- 2017 Satellite tagging of 1 sharks (SPOT tags). Two scientific papers using tagging data, 1 re basking shark migration and 1 re site fidelity
- 2018 Boat work but no tagging
- 2019 Scientific paper using tagging data re vertical water column use of basking sharks. Very few basking sharks so no research except public sightings data collection.
- 2020 Two scientific papers. 1 re importance of basking sharks in Manx waters using tagging data and public sightings data. 1 on genetic patterns of basking sharks in NE Atlantic. Very few basking sharks and Covid so no research except public sightings data collection.
- 2021 Very few basking sharks and Covid so no research except public sightings data collection.
- 2022 MWDW takes on collection of basking sharks sightings data from MBSW
Scientific study of basking sharks in Manx waters ends, transferred to Irish scientists
MBSW research vessel Happy Jack. Photo: Mal Kelly
Jackie and Graham Hall with tag
Graham deploying tag