About Shark, Skate and Ray Tagging


(c) Angling Ireland

Take part in our tagging programme

About our tagging programme

We are delivering training in shark and ray tagging techniques, as well as providing free tagging equipment packs, to sea anglers around the coast.

If you'd like to take part, check out our events page for the next course or contact us to find out more. 

FAQ's for Sea Anglers

How can I take part in the tagging programme?

Take a look at our events page for tagging courses near you. These take just a few hours and you will receive all of the equipment you need for free. If you don’t see a date that suits, get in touch with our Project Officer, Heidi McIlvenny who would be happy to arrange another session - seadeep@ulsterwildlife.org.

Please be aware that it is an offence to intentionally target Common Skate without an appropriate wildlife licence from DAERA.  

What species are you targeting?

We want records for all of our sharks, skates and rays - either from shore or boat fishing. This includes working with licensed anglers to tag Common Skate, as well as the non-regulated species such as Porbeagle, Spurdog, Tope, Blackmouth Dogfish, Bullhuss and the many kinds of rays around our coast. We’re even interested in tagging the Lesser-Spotted Dogfish. Although this species is very common, the high numbers will increase our chance of recaptures which will help us understand how they move around our shores - information that could prove useful for other less common species as well.

What will happen to the information I provide?

Your personal information and contact details will be kept strictly confidential and will not be shared with any other groups - see our privacy notice for further information. The tagging information that you provide (including species, tag number, location etc.) will be held by Ulster Wildlife and used to identify important areas for species of sharks, skates and rays around our coast. We will make this information public by providing it to the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) which is the Local Records Centre (LRC) for Northern Ireland. Exact fishing locations will be kept confidential and only given to the nearest 10 km when shared publicly.

Will my fishing marks be kept confidential?

Your exact fishing marks will never be made public. We will only share fishing locations with the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA). This is necessary to inform the development of new management measures to conserve these species. Fishing marks will not be shared with any other groups and will be given to the nearest 10 km in any public communication of the data.

Will this project result in restrictions to where I can fish in the future?

The tagging data collected by sea anglers as part of this project will be used to improve the conservation and management measures for sharks, skates and rays around our coasts. Our tagging training will use best practice techniques that have been shown to not damage the condition of the fish. Therefore we will be promoting the continued use of sea anglers and tagging to monitor the effect of any new conservation measures that may come into force in the future.

Currently, there are restrictions on three species -  Basking shark, Common skate, and Angel shark  - which means it is an offence to intentionally target them without an appropriate wildlife licence from DAERA.  

Best Practice Guide: Handling & Releasing Elasmobranchs

Where can I submit my tag records?