Posted by: tireecottage | December 13, 2010

Storm Washes up Tuna Tag

The recent storms brought winds of up to 60 miles per hour, which meant that for two days the plane from Glasgow to Tiree was cancelled and, on two consecutive Thursdays, the ferry from Oban was disrupted.

The first Thursday it was decided on the Wednesday that due to expected gales they wouldn’t try to sail to Tiree, even though they would go to Barra later in the day. The second Thursday, the boat was in sight of the pier when it was turned back due to the heavy swell.

It was after the weather had calmed that Cameron Smith took his daughter Ella for a walk along the beach at Balephetrish. The rough seas had washed up all manner of objects, but one in particular caught Cameron’s eye, a tag with identification numbers and details of who to contact if it was found. Cameron sent an e-mail saying where and when he had found the tag and with in a couple of hours received a reply from Guillermo Aranda at the University of Cadiz, Spain.

The tag had been implanted into a Bluefin Tuna near the Balearic Islands in July, to allow scientists to follow the horizontal movements of the fish during its summer migration to the breeding grounds in the Mediterranean Sea. After the summer the fish swim out to feeding areas in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Guillermo said that they knew this tag had been released prematurely from the fish near Ireland, as they had received satellite information at the time of deployment, so the ocean currents must have carried the tag to Tiree. The University offer a reward for any tags found because it is vital that they are able to retrieve the information of depth and temperature stored on the tag.

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