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All About Basking Sharks

Shark Awareness Day - July 14th 2019

This year we are focusing on the graceful basking shark. Peaceful in nature but one of the most vulnerable shark species.

Basking Shark Information:

  • The basking shark is the second biggest fish in the world! They can grow up to 11 meters long and weigh up to 7 tonnes. 

  • These guys are the cleaners of the ocean. Filter feeders like the basking shark are vital to the oceans ecosystem. As we see their numbers decrease we are seeing an increase in jellyfish and algae blooms throughout our oceans.

  • Summertime is the best time of year to see them as they come to the surface to slowly feed on plankton.

  • Found in seas all around the world, the basking shark does seem to prefer the temperature to be between 8°- 14.5°C.

Basking Shark Age

Why are they vulnerable?

Basking sharks face a large number of threats from human activities in the ocean:

  • Entanglement - As basking sharks are so large they often find themselves easily entangled in fishing gear. Unless there is someone on hand to help free the shark they often die, although sometimes they are able to untangle themselves but they will often come away with scars and abrasions caused by the fishing nets and ropes.  

  • Boat Strikes - This can be a serious danger to basking sharks, who will feed at the surface in the summer and often come in contact with ships and propellers.

  • Bycatch & Fishing - Basking shark fisheries have pretty much collapsed, although they are still hunted illegally for their fins. Plus they face the risk of bycatch - getting caught in nets targeting other fish.

  • Harassment - Basking sharks are a sight to behold and many people will take trips out to see them, however this can have a negative effect. Some get too close to the sharks and can run the risk of striking them with their boats. Basking sharks are very sensitive to disturbances, so if they bothered frequently then it can have an effect on their behaviours, such as their mating and feeding methods.

Read more here on the Shark Trust

What is being done to protect them?

Under law, basking sharks are protected in the UK, Sweden, the USA and New Zealand. In British waters it is illegal to kill, injure or harass basking sharks, the penalty is often a large fine or even up to 6 months in prison.

Click here for the Basking Shark Code of Conduct Poster...

Half Price Shark Awareness Baseball Cap

We know you love sharks as much as we do! That's why we are currently offering our Shark Awareness Baseball Caps for HALF PRICE or BETTER! 

Keep the sun from your eyes and spread your love for sharks in this Shark Awareness Baseball Cap. Plus we have even bigger savings on multipacks if you wanna grab a few extras for family and friends!

Shark Awareness Baseball Cap

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