Basking sharks make a comeback in British waters
Tuesday 24 July 2012
Basking sharks, the world's second largest fish, are thought to be mounting a recovery in UK waters following the end of commercial hunting.
Sightings have not only increased over the past 20 years but the size of the individual sharks seen has also grown, a classic sign of population recovery. More than 81,000 basking sharks were caught in the North-east Atlantic from 1952 to 2004 but they are now widely protected.
Over the past 20 years the public has reported seeing more medium-sized sharks, while researchers on shark-spotting boats recorded more large sharks. Analysis of the summer sightings was described as "the most comprehensive ever" and was carried out by the University of Exeter, the Marine Conservation Society, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Wave Action. The results are published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.
"Our research shows that basking sharks could be recovering from the extensive hunting in the 20th century," said Professor Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter.
Canoeists and surfers were startled by a shark just yards off the beach in Gwenva, near Land's End in Cornwall on Sunday. However, they quickly realised the 7 metre shark was a basking shark, so unlikely to harm humans.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
2014 is warmest year since records began - and third wettest
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
The butterfly effect: climate change ‘forced species to adapt’
The ten best cycling accessories
Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...