NOAA Fisheries tags first basking shark in the Pacific Ocean


Basking Shark_Photo credit: Gregory B. SkomalOn Sunday, June 6th, 2010, eight miles offshore from San Diego, California, Dr. John Hyde, the supervisor of FRD's Molecular Genetics program, and Owyn Snodgrass, a member of the FRD Large Pelagics Program, successfully tagged a basking shark, the first time this has been done in the Pacific Ocean.  Satellite technology will be used to track the movements of basking sharks and determine how oceanography influences where they go and what they do. The tags will record temperature and depth throughout the track allowing us to look at habitat use. To determine the shark’s locations the tag will both link to GPS satellites when it is at the surface and record light levels which will allow us to estimate latitude and longitude.  

Learn more about the project here...

Watch a video of the tagging effort.

Photo credit: Gregory B. Skomal

 How you can help!

If you see a basking shark while you are on the water and can call from your vessel, please call:

John Hyde at (760) 408-7726 or Heidi Dewar at (858) 546-7023.

If you wish to report a sighting after you have returned to land please provide the date, time and location of the sighting, as well as any comments to (858) 334-2884 or send an email to

Any photos or video would also be appreciated and can be sent to:
Heidi Dewar
NOAA Fisheries, SWFSC
8604 La Jolla Shore Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037