Get Fishing is the Angling Trust’s campaign to get more people fishing more often. Each year we run hundreds of events for all ages and abilities. They are funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income
Through a collaboration between Shark Hub UK and the Pat Smith Database, a tope point of capture database for charter boats and private boat owners is launched today. You can access the PDF and Excel report forms here.
Tope (Galeorhinus galeus) is an understudied species that is important to the UK recreational fishery. As recognised stakeholders in UK fisheries management recreational anglers play an integral role in developing our scientific understanding of these species.
It is hoped that the data collected will paint a more detailed picture of tope population and distribution over time, as well as how they respond to environmental variables like sea-surface temperature. Findings may also be shared with relevant management bodies to safeguard tope from future commercial overexploitation and to demonstrate the value of recreational angling in filling knowledge gaps. Data collected will be used to publish scientific papers on tope by Shark Hub UK members and to provide regular updates to the skippers and anglers who supply the information.
Please send your records to Dr. Simon Thomas at [email protected]. As always, the ownership of the data remains with the skippers and anglers. Permission for use will be obtained on every occasion and owners can request to have their data removed at any time.
Dr. Simon Thomas of Shark Hub UK and the Pat Smith Database said “ The addition of tope to the data collection is in response to requests for a recording scheme by charter skippers to the co-founder of the Pat Smith database, John McMaster. The skippers were keen to contribute to the understanding of the species, of which little is really known. Data from Recreational Sea Anglers (RSA) has already provided huge insights into the population dynamics, ecology and distribution of larger pelagic sharks in the UK and hopefully data collected on tope will help to preserve this amazing shark for future generations of angler to enjoy catching. Anglers are the real experts on these species and this project is driven by this knowledge in the form of a true partnership”.
Hannah Rudd of the Angling Trust and Shark Hub UK said “We’re delighted to be expanding our data collection to include tope in response to expressions of interest from the recreational angling community. Anglers possess a wealth of knowledge that is often overlooked and we are privileged to be able to champion their role in science and conservation. Tope is an important species to recreational anglers and we look forward to learning more about this understudied species. Thank you to all the anglers, skippers and clubs who continue to support Shark Hub UK and contribute to the Pat Smith Database.”