03 May 2013

Basking Shark Hotspot - Cornwall

Basking Shark © Andrew Pearson.
The Shark Trust's Conservation Officer, John Richardson, keeps us up to date with the latest Basking Shark reports. 

"AK Wildlife Cruisers, a Falmouth-based wildlife tour operator, reported the first Basking Shark sighting of the season on the 15th April. The 8m long shark was spotted feeding near the Old Wall (a popular dive site), off St. Antony’s Lighthouse on Cornwall’s Rose Peninsula.

From May til late October, these graceful giants patrol UK and Irish waters feeding on plankton but with sea temperatures around the Southwest still below 10°C, phytoplankton growth is much reduced compared to this time last year. With less phytoplankton in the water column, zooplankton, in turn, is not present in the volume which usually draws Basking Sharks into surface waters to feed.

However, with forecasts suggesting spring is on the horizon, keep an eye out for Britain’s largest shark - especially in all UK and Irish hot-spots: England’s Southwest, the Isle of Man, the west coast of Scotland and the northern coast of Ireland.

The Shark Trust’s Basking Shark Project records Basking Shark sightings, predominantly reported in British waters, in order to better understand the migration patterns of this vulnerable species.

Shark enthusiasts of all ages can get involved in this project by keeping an eye out for Basking Sharks during the warmer months and submitting their sightings to our online database with as much information as possible.

Please note: water users should always remember to adhere to our Basking Shark Code of Conduct to ensure a safe, positive interaction between human and shark."

The Shark Trust