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Early flurry of Basking shark sightings off Ireland

19/04/2013 07:44:17

First basking shark photo of 2013 from Ireland, Slea Head (c) Nick Massett

Courtesy of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
April 2012. A dozen basking sharks were sighted off Slea Head in Ireland's County Kerry on 11th April by watcher Nick Massett. This isn't as unusual as it may seem, as almost to the day a year ago Nick also recorded 22 basking sharks off Slea Head.

Clearly the waters off the Dingle peninsula provide important early season feeding for basking shark. A settled period of a few sunny days of warm weather should see basking shark sighting records from other inshore sites. Over the coming 2-3 months basking sharks should be visible along much of the Irish coastline, although sightings in the Irish Sea, north coast and northeast tend to be much later in the year between August-September.

On 4th April Nick observed a minimum of three sharks from Slea head, with a further two on the 5th and an impressive tally of 6 animals on 6th April.

This is good timing for the IWDG's first Cape Clear whale (and basking shark) watching weekend on 31st May-2nd June, which will have a certain shark flavour.

Further information on basking sharks in Irish waters can be found on

Read more stories about the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group 

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