Record Year for Basking Sharks

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Full Screen Image – Basking Shark ©Nick Sidle

Wildlife tour operator Basking Shark Scotland has reported a record number of sightings, over 700 between April and October compared to 250 last year and 172 in 2013, mostly around the Inner Hebrides.

Basking Shark Scotland

The Basking Shark is the second largest living fish, smaller only than the Whale Shark, with the largest accurately measured individual being 12.27m (40.3 feet), making it way above even the Great White of mythic dimensions in ‘Jaws’. Basking Sharks are sometimes mistaken for Great Whites because of their size and are the basis for some of the reports of Great Whites there have been in UK waters over the years (whilst there are some that deserve serious consideration there are as yet no confirmed Great White sightings off the British Isles). They are however very different animals and are filter feeders straining out Plankton from seawater and so are of no risk to anyone. Great Whites are in no way the terrifying prospect portrayed in ‘Jaws’ but they do have to be treated with some respect and tragedies have of course happened, even if they are fortunately extremely rare.

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Full Screen Image – Great White Shark ©Nick Sidle

Nick

Marine Scotland Gallery

Marine Australia Gallery

Basking Shark -Cetorhinus maximus

Great White Shark – Carcharodon carcharias