Tope numbers continue to fall

New research has revealed that the numbers of tope off the Scottish coast could be in serious decline.

More than 50 boats and 20 kayaks took part in the recent annual Sharkatag event, fishing in the name of research in South West Scotland.

Worryingly, the catch rate of tope declined for the third year running and no rays other than thornbacks were landed.

Sharkatag is run by the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) and Ian Burrett, the Scottish Sea Angling Network’s Project Director, told local press that it was not known whether overfishing or a change in the tope’s northern migration route was to blame for the trend.