Assessment of Common Skate tagging data has revealed another remarkable tag and recapture story. A female skate originally tagged in 1992 was recaptured this year just weeks short of 20 years at liberty!
She was originally captured and tagged west of the Isle of Mull, she was then recaptured a staggering 7,251 (19 years, 10 months and 7 days) days later in the Sound of Jura earlier this year. This was the first recorded recapture of the fish. She had obviously been feeding well as during this time she had grown from 71lb to a portly 193lb!
At 7,251 days this represents one of the longest times at liberty recorded, just beaten by a skate captured by David Murray after 7,524 days (20 years, 7 months and 24 days). The full story for this recapture, including photos, can be found here – http://www.tagsharks.com/an-extraordinary-recapture
Although we no longer tag new skate in this area of Scotland we do still record recaptures, if you catch a tagged fish please let us know using the this form to find out where the fish has been! – http://www.tagsharks.com/submit
At 7,251 days this recapture represents one of the longest times at liberty of tagged fish using an external dart tag ever recorded. In general the longest times at liberty are recorded in fish with internal tags that are not shed by the fish over time, the longest of which was a male tope tagged in the south Pacific in the 1950’s and recaptured almost 42 years later!