It's that time of year again, our coastline is being filled with life!! A sight that is becoming more and more common is the Basking Shark. These incredible creatures are the second-largest living shark and fish, after the whale shark, and one of three plankton-eating shark species, along with the whale shark and megamouth shark. Adults typically reach 6 - 8m in length weighing in the region of 5000kg.
Large concentrations of shark sightings are typically on the western shores but they can be seen in plenty of areas up and down the coast.
Basking sharks have legal protection in Irish waters and sightings can be reported to the Irish Basking Shark Group (IBSG).
"They are also protected within the territorial waters of the Isle of Man and Guernsey. More broadly, target fishing is prohibited in EU waters and Internationally by EU-registered vessels (EC No41/2007 of the 21/12/2006 and equivalent Norwegian regulations)." Extract from IBSG Legal Status - For more information click here
While these creatures are very peaceful to watch and a pleasure to see in the water they should not be deliberately approached. See below a guide to the etiquette, by the IBSG, that should be used if you find yourself in the water with these majestic creatures.
The above image "Basking sharks code of Conduct" is the property of IBSG.
For more information contact IBSG on their contact forum.