Hands up if you love sharks!

by Jon

May 12, 2016 0

There’s over 30 species of sharks in British waters, including one of the biggest on the planet!  Meet the Basking Shark – a sensational seasonal visitor to UK waters.  At 12 metres long it can be bigger even than a Great White Shark, but this gentle giant feeds on tiny plankton.

Where to find sharks

There’s sharks swimming all around the British coastline, like Dogfish, Tope, Smoothound and even Blue Sharks, but you’ll be lucky to see one from the beach. Stealing a sight of the stunning Basking Shark is the real prize. This protected species follows plankton blooms up the UK west coast between May and October.  Sighting hotspots include the Hebrides, Malin Head in Ireland and Southwest England.  The Manx Basking Shark Watch charity claims the south and southwest coast of the Isle of Man is probably the place in the world to watch basking sharks close to shore.  The charity and Isle is well set-up to welcome sharking spotting visitors.

Elsewhere these elusive creatures are hard to predict.  Keep an eye on The Wildlie Trusts  around the southwest coast and up the west coast for latest sightings, particularly during still, warm weather from early May on-wards.

Sadly many of our shark species are under threat – help conservation efforts and report any basking sharks you spot to the Shark Trust.

OCEANROCKS loves sharks. A prehistoric marine reptile which resembles a cross between a shark and dolphin is the inspiration for our Fish Lizard T-shirt 

Boat trips

A boat trip is often a great way to see a whole host of amazing species. There are usually codes of conduct for operators to follow, but if in doubt check with a conservation charity or tourist board.  WiSe is an example of an accreditation scheme for operators.

Stay safe on the coast

Remember always to stay safe at the coast. Follow official signs and guidance, keep an eye on the tides and weather, don’t go too close to cliff edges or stray too near to the foot of cliffs. Always use your common sense, be prepared, and if in doubt seek official advice from the RNLI, Maritime and Coastguard Agency or local council websites.

Posted by: Jon

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