01 November 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"We've had Basking Shark sightings right up until September 23rd – mostly one’s and two’s – then we were battered by stormy weather. In the second week of October the sharks again made an appearance, with one’s and two’s spotted on Cornwall’s west coast – with a group of five seen last weekend! 

An unidentified shark was also spotted off Cape Cornwall recently. It definitely wasn’t a Basker – we suspect it may have been a Porbeagle Shark. On a similar note, a record Blue Shark was caught by an angler on the charter vessel Bite Adventures off the coast of Penzance in early October. Even though the shark weighed in at some 248lbs it won’t be an official record as the angler released it after it was measured and a photo taken. 

I’ve said it before, but this is a great end to 2012; it’s been a remarkable year compared to 2011, with the sharks around consistently all ‘season’ (apart from during the stormy periods).

Websites:

28 September 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"Things have quietened down a bit, although we're still seeing ones and twos dotted around west Cornwall. Fingers crossed for a big resurgence in numbers in late September - early October, which has happened in previous years, occasionally in quite large numbers. Overall 2012 has been an exceptional year here in the Southwest, with Basking Sharks first sighted in March and still hanging around - hopefully for another few weeks yet!"

Websites:

13 September 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"With the ongoing storms, every time one finishes we keep expecting the sharks to disappear, but they keep bouncing back again. In the last two weeks we've had sightings of up to 16 sharks grouped together, with other smaller groups of 3 - 5 individuals also seen. This has mainly been between Penzance and St Ives. We're keen to see how long the sharks will be around for as Autumn starts to draw in!"

Websites:

31 August 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Ireland

Image © Irish Basking shark Project.
Enda McKeogh from the Irish Basking shark Project, updates us with the latest sightings in Co. Kerry, SW Ireland.

"A shark with a white tag was filmed back in July by dive photographer Mark Harding of www.eyemocean.com off the Isle of Coll. The visual tags which we deploy are colour coded by deployment area and numbered to identify the individual. Green tags are deployed in Kerry, red are deployed in Cork while white and yellow are deployed in Donegal. This is very exciting as the team had not deployed any white tags this season when the video was taken meaning that this is the first inter-annual re-sighting of an animal tagged as a part of our visual tagging project. Unfortunately, the stills taken from the video don’t allow us identify the individual as the tag is covered with fouling but the small ring at the front of the tag suggests to us that this was deployed with a timed depth recorder. This allows us to narrow the identity of the shark down but we will never know for sure. It does give us valuable information on the longevity of the tags and displays their usefulness in studying the sharks spatial and temporal movements and also simple mark-recapture studies. 

* View the video
If you see a basking shark with a visual tag attached please report it on www.baskingshark.ie."

Websites:
* Irish Basking Shark Project Website
* Irish Basking Shark Project on Facebook
*
The Shark Trust

* The Shark Trust Basking Shark Project

Basking Shark Hotspot - Ireland

Image © Irish Basking shark Project.
Enda McKeogh from the Irish Basking shark Project, updates us with the latest sightings in Co. Kerry, SW Ireland.

"
As a part of the Monster Munch project, the Donegal team has deployed all 5 of their satellite tracking tags. Iascagáin,  Banba, Colm doesn't Cille, Bunagee Beauty and Green Marine have all been deployed in the Inishowen area. It was hoped that the tags would relay live positions of the sharks but only 2 have reported in; Green Marine has travelled 10 miles between the 8th and 12th of August while Colm doesn’t Cille (4m long juvenile) has travelled about 250 miles between the 8th and 20th of August and checked in just west of Loop Head in Clare. The team was hoping all the tags would relay live positions of the sharks but they are proving slow to  check in. This is not the end of the world though as the fast lock GPS tags deployed will provide a treasure trove of information once they detach from the animal allowing us to construct a complete 3-D track of the sharks movements.
Map 1
Map 2











Map 1
shows locations where tags were deployed. Green track shows movements of Green Marine.

Map 2 shows movements of Colm doesn’t Cille.


This season has been a difficult one for fieldwork, conditions had been poor resulting in very low numbers of sharks being sighted in May, June and July. This meant that the team did not have the option of picking and choosing the sharks they wanted to tag and had to take what came their way. Hopefully in the coming weeks the tags will relay more live positions allowing us to gain some insight into these leviathans movements. Click here to keep up to date with the sharks movements and our work."

Websites:
* Irish Basking Shark Project Website
* Irish Basking Shark Project on Facebook
*
The Shark Trust

* The Shark Trust Basking Shark Project

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"Basking Sharks are still being seen in good numbers around the west coast of Cornwall over the last week, with groups of up to 6 sharks spotted.  We also saw approximately 20 sharks over a 5 mile stretch of coast on just one day – all 7-9m in length!
On the south coast we’re still seeing lots of smaller sharks, 2-3m long in smaller groups, usually in two’s and three’s. The sea still seems to be very productive – the sharks are not usually still around in these numbers. All around our patch we’re still seeing lots of jellies, plankton and ocean sunfish in the same vicinity as the sharks, and in some areas we’re seeing Minkes and Common Dolphins as well.
There have been some cases of harassment of the Basking Sharks, especially along the coast around Sennen Cove, so please make sure you stick to the Shark Trust Code of Conduct.
Nevertheless, what a great season we’re having – long may it continue!"

Websites:

Basking Shark Hotspot - Scotland

Basking Shark © Ian Judd.
Jonny Adams, volunteer for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) keeps us up to date with sightings from the west coast of Scotland.
"Since the start of July a total of 64 encounters have been reported on our community sightings network (as of mid-August). The Isle of Coll and Tiree continue to be favoured feeding grounds for Basking Sharks and on a number of occasions large groups (in excess of 40 animals) have been sighted around the south coast of Tiree.

In mid-July tags were fitted onto eight Basking Sharks off Coll, Tiree, Hyskeir and Canna. The tags, which use satellites to record the sharks positions daily, have enabled us to follow their journey over the course of the last 30 days. Two of the sharks have spent the entire month feeding of the south-west coast of Tiree and were joined in the area at the start of August by two other sharks tagged north of Canna. A further two sharks tagged off Tiree have spent the month travelling north along the west coast of Western Isles. The remaining two animals tagged at Tiree have both left the area, one going east to Colonsay and the other going south where it is currently circling the north coast of Ireland.

If you’d like to find out more information about the project, please click here.

To keep up to date with the movements of the tagged Basking Sharks, please click here.
"

Websites:
*
Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

17 August 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"Sightings increased phenomenally around the Lands’ End area last week, with more than 40 sharks sighted! So far, this year has been incredibly unusual: usually a few sharks are spotted here in southwest Cornwall at the height of summer; however our peak-time for Baskers is late spring. This year our peak-time seems to have moved much further into the summer. 

We are seeing lots of plankton in the water at the moment; at the same time a number of Leatherback Turtles have also been recorded. However by last Monday the Baskers were gone as the stormy conditions returned to the Southwest.

We’d never had a year like 2011, which was abysmal for Basking Shark sightings. However this year has been equally as extraordinary, due to the large number of sharks spotted. Long may it continue
!"

Websites:

07 August 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"Since the last blog we have seen good numbers of Basking Sharks around West Cornwall, with plenty of Baskers also seen around the Lizard – Porthkerris Divers reported 7-8 sharks, mostly small, with one estimated at approximately 1.5m.
Although the weather has changed back to the unsettled pattern we experienced throughout most of June and July, there are still a fair few sharks around.  Last weekend NCI Coastwatch spotted an enormous Basking Shark, estimating its dorsal fin to be 1m high!  A local fisherman also reported seeing the same shark, noting it was the largest he’d ever seen.
The largest gathering of Baskers seen so far this year was on July 30th in the Whitesands Bay/Sennen area – with approximately 20 sharks counted.  Until last week most sharks in West Cornwall had been spotted north of Lands End, but since then I’ve heard reports of 4 or 5 from the south coast of Cornwall and Devon.

Lots of sightings are being sent through from the National Trust Mayon Cliff Lookout – a big thank-you to them!"

Websites:

Basking Shark Hotspot - Isle of Man

Basking Shark fin © Manx Basking Shark Watch
Basking Shark © Manx Basking Shark Watch.


Haley Dolton, from the Manx Wildlife Trust has kindly written a blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date on all the latest Basking Shark sightings from the Isle of Man hotspot. 

"Since the 24th July, Basking Sharks have been steadily sighted in Manx waters again! This is probably because of a spell of good weather allowing plankton to stratify in the water column.  

On the 27th of July, Happy Jack went out to try and make the most of these sightings and to much success! In approximately 3 hours, all 3 of the MK10 PAT tags were on and 6 DNA samples were taken. A very productive 3 hours! 

One shark that was tagged, Eric, had also been tagged in 2011, which is great for the continuity of the MBSW project. Eric was also completely unfazed by the tagging and kept approaching the boat! 

Hopefully, the plankton will stay on the surface of the sea for a little longer, allowing us to observe the sharks for the rest of this month."

Websites:

01 August 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Cat Gordon.
Cat Gordon, Conservation Officer at the Shark Trust, goes Basking Shark watching off the coast of Cornwall. 

Basking Shark © Cat Gordon.
"On Saturday 21st July 2012, I finally managed to get out to sea with Rory Goodall of Elemental Tours, in the hope of spotting some sharks. I say finally, as it’s been something we’ve been trying to organise for longer than I can remember, but thanks to the awful British weather blowing up every time it was planned or busy work schedules to blame, it hasn’t quite happened. Until now. With summer finally deciding to arrive, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect – sunshine, calm seas, blue skies and not a cloud in sight or a hint of wind and as a bonus, there had been sightings of sharks in the area as recently as that morning. 

Leaving from Penzance on board his RIB, Ocean Ranger, Rory puts on a great show and kept everyone informed about the history to the surrounding areas, from Penzance, Mousehole and Land’s End to the infamous Minack Theatre. Towards Mousehole, we encountered our first ocean dweller – a juvenile Ocean Sunfish less than a metre in length. Fairly wary of the passing boat, he didn’t stick around long and so we were soon on our way again. We soon saw several fins breaking the water, not of sharks, but porpoises. Moving from the Channel to the Atlantic Ocean, we saw a number of Grey Seals playing in the water by Longships Lighthouse off Land’s End, but still no sharks. Every seal, porpoise, bird, buoy or flag appeared to be a fin from a distance, until finally, the tell-tale fins of a Basking Shark really did emerge. A relatively ‘small’ 5m basker, cruising along feeding, but moving quicker than I could keep up with in my fins, so I settled for watching from the boat. It was an amazing sight and everyone was certainly buzzing from the experience. In Sennen Cove we saw two sharks, one on either side of the bay. These sharks seemed much more relaxed and so I jumped in the water again ahead of the shark and watched as she steadily cruised past me, completely un-phased by my presence. Keeping at a distance I swam next to her until it was clear she could out-swim me even at cruising speed, and I paused before she turned around and swam back past me (Basking Sharks have been observed feeding in a zig-zag motion across plankton blooms). In total, we were lucky enough to see eight baskers. Most were around the 5/6m mark, but two spotted together were much larger at easily 8m, unfortunately this pair didn’t stick around for long. Having spent so long working on the Basking Shark Photo-ID project cataloguing and analysing thousands of fin images, it’s great to get out in the water and see them up close. And yes, I was watching out for any distinguishing features, nicks or notches along the edges and surfaces of the fins! Luckily for the sharks, all dorsal fins were in great condition and no hint of a propeller nick, rope burn or net scar could be seen. All in all, it was a fantastic day and I couldn’t recommend getting out on the water enough. 


If you’re planning on Basking Shark watching this season, then please be sure to choose a responsible tour operator that is WiSe accredited and safely follows the Code of Conduct."

Websites:

27 July 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Basking Shark © Annabelle Lowe. 
Annabelle Lowe from Atlantic Diver in Newquay, has kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"Great excitement on Friday as Chris watched a 4m Basking Shark feed effortlessly at the surface just off Newquay in the bay. It had the typical hooked snout of a juvenile and the pics show just how bendy cartilage can be! We have been lucky enough to see hundreds of Manx Shearwaters, pods of Common Dolphins and, offshore, Bottlenose Dolphins. But the highlight was a Fin Whale on Saturday about 30 miles offshore. Looking forward to our Blue Shark cage diving expeditions this week :0) and loving the good weather."

Websites:

24 July 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © Rory Goodall.
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzancehas kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 
"After previous bumper Basker seasons, 2011 came as quite a shock, with a dearth of sharks like no other year that myself and other local people could remember. Glad to say that this year has made up for it, albeit on a smaller scale than ‘usual’ – of course there’s no such thing as ‘usual’ when it comes to Basking Sharks, every year is different!

This year’s no exception, there have been small groupings – and quite a lot of them – but no large gatherings as there often are in most years.  The first shark in Cornwall was recorded on 8th March (unfortunately beaten to it by Devon this year!) – but numbers have remained steady since then. The sharks now seem to be concentrated in West Cornwall.  Even with the rough weather and the dispersal of plankton, they’re still hanging on in there. The relentless bad weather is due (hopefully) to end this weekend and we’ll have a plethora of sightings around the Land’s End Peninsula, so look out next week and see how well we did!


We’ve had one very successful shark snorkelling trip this year, where all nine clients had awesome underwater encounters with these incredible animals, abiding by the Shark Trust Code of Conduct. There were big plankton slicks being fed on by various jellyfish species – of which there were millions – and the Basking Sharks didn’t seem to mind, sucking them up with a relish, along with the plankton. A number of porpoises and common dolphins were also feeding on the ocean’s bounty
."

Websites:

20 July 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Scotland

Underwater Basking Shark © Lionel Davoustk.
Lionel Davoust, Volunteer for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), informs us about all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Scotland.

"We are not even near the end of July and it’s already been a very busy month for Basking Sharks again off western Scotland! As I’m writing, there have already been 56 sharks sighted around the Hebrides reported to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust through the sightings community. 

Most encounters being with groups of 4 to 6 individuals.  However, more numerous groups have been reported, such as one of 8 individuals on the 6th, far to the west of Oigh Sgeir (Hyskeir lighthouse). One of their favourite hotspots remains the Isle of Coll, particularly a group of low reefs and skerries to the east called the Cairns of Coll. Three groups of 6 animals were sighted in this area alone: on the 10th, 12th and 16th. Seeing these gentle giants of the sea surface peacefully in a glass-like sea under the silvery sky of Scotland always inspires a feeling of reverence, for scientists and wildlife lovers alike. We were lucky enough to witness several sightings and take a few good photos which will hopefully help the Shark Trust identify the animals.

The Isle of Tiree is also an excellent hotspot for the sharks, where a single group of 52 individuals was sighted in June! It still remains the place where the largest group has been sighted since then: 14 individuals on the 11th, but there were 4 more sightings over the course of a single week, with groups numbering 3 to 4 animals.

It is thus no surprise that these two islands are the main focus of a current tagging project, undertaken by the University of Exeter. The researchers are currently working from Tobermory to tag the animals; this technique allows the scientists to retrieve a wealth of information that goes a long way towards a better understanding and conservation of the populations. Once the sharks are tagged, you can follow their movements yourself online. For more information about the project, please click here. To follow the tagged Basking Shark movements, please click here."

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Basking Shark  © Annabelle Lowe.
Annabelle Lowe from Atlantic Diver in Newquay, has kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date with all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Cornwall. 

"The end of June began the start of our Blue Shark Cage Diving Expeditions and although all conditions were favorable for a sighting, our days were filled with all other marine wildlife encounters: Common Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Seals and numerous Sea Birds but NO Blue Sharks. The water temperature has barely passed 13 degrees Celsius (Blue Sharks preferring temps of between 12 and 20) and the plankton that we would normally be seeing has been slowly maturing with only scatterings at the usual warm front sites we would see. Jellyfish too are thin on the ground; however sightings of Basking Sharks are trickling in with the juveniles coming through firstly at the end of May in ones and a larger group of 8, then a small group of three in June in Newquay Bay. 

In July oily patches of planktonic slick at the sea’s surface attracted a group of three Basking Sharks, two larger and one small one feeding just West of Newquay. In mid-July a mackerel angling  boat reported a 7m Basking Shark one and a half miles North of Newquay over a popular reef, feeding opened-mouthed in sea-state 3…a miracle in itself that he spotted it in the unrelenting chop….well done Colin! The Shark had a nick out of its dorsal fin which could help identify it in the Shark Trust photo-ID photo database.Sadly a mature female Pilot Whale dead Stranded on Mawgan Porth Beach but fascinatingly its tail Stock had been scavenged by what appeared to be Blue Shark. Bites uniform in size and the narrow crescent shape of the Blues were evident from the dorsal fin down to the tail fluke on both flank and underside. Shark expert Ian Fergusson believed it was likely to have occurred far offshore….amazing how nature wastes nothing!  We now wait for further Basking Shark sightings as the warmer weather helps lift the plankton to the surface…."

Websites:

09 July 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Isle of Man

Basking Shark fin © Manx Basking Shark Watch
Basking Shark © Manx Basking Shark Watch.


Haley Dolton, from the Manx Wildlife Trust has kindly written a blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date on all the latest Basking Shark sightings from the Isle of Man hotspot. 

"Since our great start in May, Basking Shark sightings for June have slowly decreased to only 13 sharks spotted this month.  This may be down to poor weather conditions pushing the plankton south and unfortunately for us, the sharks have followed.

The MBSW vessel, Happy Jack, has had two encounters with Basking Sharks (including one whilst filming with the BBC’s Countryfile). However, both sharks disappeared before any pictures or DNA samples could be taken. Despite the lack of Basking Shark sightings, MBSW have spotted Minke Whales and had an incredible encounter with approximately 10 Harbour Porpoises surrounding the boat.

The good news is that most of the sightings have occurred towards the end of this month, so hopefully it means the Basking Sharks are returning to Manx waters once again!
"


Websites:

29 June 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Scotland

Image © Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. 
Shaun Bryan, Volunteer for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), informs us about all the latest Basking Shark sightings in Scotland.

"Since the end of May, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s community sightings network has received reports of an incredible 82 Basking Shark sightings! Two separate reports came in on the 3rd of June, one at Stoerhead Lighthouse, the other from near Milton, Tiree. Another shark was spotted two days later in the same area, with another in the sound of Jura and Inverlussa on the same day. 2 were spotted together in the sound of Mull on the 4th June and another individual was seen on the 5th near Mannal, Tiree, followed by another 3 separate sightings from the same area, the next day.   

The 7th was even busier, with 3 sighting reports: one of 2 individuals and another 2 sightings of 3 individuals – all once again around Tiree. 2 sightings were reported on the 11th June: the first, a single shark near Holoman Island in the sound of Raasay, and the second was another report of a single individual, this time near Coll.

The 13th June saw a report of a sighting in the final approach to the Craignure ferry terminal, on the Isle of Mull. More widespread sightings were recorded on the 14th June from Stoerhead Lighthouse, from  Gunna Sound and at Hawes Bank (between Tiree and Barra); where 3 sharks were reported together. Another Tiree sighting was reported on the 16th June, this time at Gott Bay. A single individual was seen at Carnaburg on the 19th, another at Faraid Head near Durness; but it was on the 25th of June that we received this month’s single report of a large school, with an estimated 52 individuals seen together near Hynish Isle, once again near the region’s hotspot, Tiree."

Websites:

*Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

28 June 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Ireland

Image © Irish Basking shark Project.
Enda McKeogh from the Irish Basking shark Project, updates us with the latest sightings in Co. Kerry, SW Ireland.

"Shark season officially started in the Kerry study area during a calm period at the start of April. It made for ideal conditions for fieldwork and allowed us to get a solid start on the season. 25 sharks were tagged over three days, mostly around the Blaskets in County Kerry, but one tag was deployed off of the Cork coast and we have already had our first re-sightings of the season. The team enjoyed sightings of other marine megafauna during our fieldwork too, including Minke Whales, Risso’s Dolphins, Common Dolphins, porpoise and even 2 Humpbacks off the Cork coast. 


It has been somewhat quiet since, with few sightings but the team are ready to go whenever they show themselves! The team is planning to deploy a pop-off archival tag this season in the Kerry study area in order to provide information on past location and depth of the shark. This data is used to monitor the activities of Basking Sharks when not on the surface and will contribute to the conservation of the species through the identification of key habitats and environmental drivers for the species.


It has been quiet in Donegal so far this season with sightings of sharks few and far between. The team here is ready to move as soon as the chance arises and have big plans for the season. To investigate shark movements and predator- prey associations the team plan to deploy numerous different types of tracking tags on the sharks, including five satellite relaying tags.  It is hoped these pioneering Fastloc GPS-enabled tags will relay live positions and record fine scale movements of the sharks. Timed depth recorders will also be deployed this year following on from last year’s successful deployment for the depth charge project.  


The Monster Munch project was in full swing over the last few months. It aims to engage the fishing communities of Inishowen on a personal level and develop a working relationship between local people and the scientific community undertaking research on the Inishowen coast. The project delivered an educational programme promoting the Basking Shark into five coastal community schools on the Inishowen Peninsula which has been hugely successful. 


This blog will be kept updated with the research team’s progress over the season and will hopefully have good news to report".


Websites:
* Irish Basking Shark Project Website
* Irish Basking Shark Project on Facebook
*
The Shark Trust

* The Shark Trust Basking Shark Project

22 June 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Image © John Batten.
Jane Alcock, Project Coordinator for the Seaquest Basking Shark Project, has kindly written this blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date on all the latest Basking Shark sightings from Cornwall. 

"The Cornwall Wildlife Trust Basking Shark Project - now in its fifth year - started on the 1st June and will run to the 31st August. During that time, our trained volunteers will carry out a scientific survey at Hella Point, close to Land’s End.

Hella Point is a rocky headland on a beautiful and wild part of the Cornish coast, popular with bird watchers, walkers and field researchers due to the incredible variety of marine life which can be seen. 
It overlooks a highly productive patch of sea, with lots of plankton during the spring, summer and early autumn months, and so lots of Basking Sharks.

Our volunteers survey during all daylight hours for three months of the project. The data they gather helps us to understand what is happening to the Basking Shark population within the county. Last year numbers were down sadly, but so far this year we’ve had consistent sightings, so we’re hoping that this is going to be a good year! We’ve even had reports of tiny 1.5 metre basking sharks, which are potentially juvenile sharks at birth, so we’re keeping a close look out for more!"

Websites:

06 June 2012

Basking Shark Hotspot - Isle of Man

Basking Shark fin © Manx Basking Shark Watch
Basking Shark © Manx Basking Shark Watch.


Hayley Dolton © Manx Basking Shark Watch
Haley Dolton © Manx
Basking Shark Watch.
Haley Dolton, from the Manx Wildlife Trust has kindly written a blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date on all the latest Basking Shark sightings from the Isle of Man hotspot. 

"The Basking Shark season (as well as the motorbike season) has just kicked off on the Isle of Man! So far, a total of 43 sharks have been spotted around this beautiful island, with 36 sightings occurring from the 20th of May. This is a great start in terms of Basking Shark sightings and hopefully it will continue until the end of the season in August.

Hopefully the first trip on the Manx Basking Shark Watch boat, Happy Jack, will happen over the next couple days (weather permitting!) enabling surveys, tagging and DNA samples to be conducted. 
Together with Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch, we have had a few trips out on the boat Girl Pat. On our first trip we spotted a 7m Basking Shark feeding off Chickens Rock. It also passed under our boat, giving us a great look at its gill arches and the gracefulness a shark of that size can display. We were also lucky enough to spot a 4m shark near Niarbyl on our second trip on Girl Pat.

It was great to see these sharks up close and hopefully we will see plenty more on Happy Jack and from land!"

Websites: