From May til late October Basking Sharks patrol UK and Irish waters, favouring marine areas with high productivity - in other words: lots of plankton! Around our coasts a number of broad geographical regions have gained prominence as Basker hotspots - including England's southwest, the Isle of Man, the west coast of Scotland and the north of Ireland.
Keep an eye on the Shark Trust Basking Shark Blog to keep up to date with all the latest sightings and information from each hotspot!
Rory Goodall, from Elemental Tours in Penzance, has 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."