From May til late October Basking Sharks patrol UK and Irish waters, favouring marine areas with high productivity - in other words: lots of plankton! Around our coasts a number of broad geographical regions have gained prominence as Basker hotspots - including England's southwest, the Isle of Man, the west coast of Scotland and the north of Ireland.
Keep an eye on the Shark Trust Basking Shark Blog to keep up to date with all the latest sightings and information from each hotspot!
Haley Dolton, from the Manx Wildlife Trust has kindly written a blog for the Shark Trust, keeping us up to date on all the latest Basking Shark sightings from the Isle of Man hotspot.
"It has been a busy couple of weeks for MBSW. Forty-one basking shark sightings since the 5th of May have been reported to us from the public!
We have conducted many surveys on board Happy jack and have seen some amazing sights recently! A couple of days were without sharks, but we were joined by another pod of risso dolphins that included two calves.
During a dedicated search on Happy Jack, a basker (of around 5.5m in length) breached! It could not have been more than 150m from the boat and was an amazing sight! Another smaller shark (around 2.5m) also breached near the boat. This is the first time an immature shark has been observed breaching by MBSW, so we were very lucky to see it!
On the 8th and 9th of June, basking sharks could be easily spotted at Niarbyl and Peel and provided MBSW with many opportunities to conduct scientific research.
The crew of Happy Jack has collected 17 DNA samples and deployed four out of ten SPOT5 tags. You can follow the daily progress of MBSW’s tagged sharks here.
We are hoping this is a great start to a productive shark season!"