Monday, 23 May 2011

Basking shark sighted off Cumbrae

Published 23 May 2011 09:30

A basking shark was spotted off the Isle of Cumbrae as the Marine Conservation Society urge shark spotters to record sightings as they happen with their mobile phone.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said that the sharks are once again being spotted in UK coastal waters as they cruise close to the shore, hoovering up vast amounts of plankton through their gaping mouths.

Through their long-running Basking Shark Watch programme, MCS has already been alerted by the public to sightings around Land's End, off the world famous Cobb at Lyme Regis, off Donegal, Northern Ireland, at Dingle and Kerry in southwest Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland.

The first basking shark of the year was seen very early - reported to MCS off the island of Canna, west coast of Scotland - in January, with the next two sightings reported in March, one close to Millport, Scotland and the other close to Newlyn, Cornwall.

As with all sightings of wild animals, MCS urges caution: "These impressive creatures can grow up to 11 metres long and weigh up to seven tonnes and, although they aren't dangerous to humans, their behaviour can be unpredictable and involve sudden leaping out of the water or 'breaching'," said Dr Solandt. "Seven tonnes of flailing basking shark has real potential to spoil your day if you get too close, so we urge people to keep a safe and respectful distance from them."

In collaboration with the Shark Trust, MCS has produced the Basking Shark Code of Conduct, which provides clear guidance on how the public can behave safely around basking sharks. You can find out more at

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails