“WHERE ARE ALL THE BASKING SHARKS”? HOPEFULLY COMING SOON!
I’ve been asking this question myself and many people are asking me the question too. Well the short answer is that after the very cold winter the water (until the last day or so when it’s gone up to 12 degrees C) has stayed a little cold for the zooplankton bloom to occur. We did get a report of one solitary basking shark in mid-May but I would ‘normally’ expect to see the first schools of basking sharks by now. Dr Kev Kennington of DEFA is our local plankton expert. He did a boat survey last week and found that the water off the East coat of the Isle of Man was a little warmer than that off the West coast. He saw small zooplankton species off the East coast but nothing much off the West coast, where we normally get most basking sharks feeding at the surface in the summer. Basking sharks seem to prefer larger species of zooplankton.
I have a 3rd hand report that a paddle boarder might have seen a small basking shark deep below him when he was off Laxey last week. Given Dr Kennington’s plankton report this is not improbable. Apparently he was not sure that it was a basking shark so that must have been a little exciting for him!
Anyway. I have EXCITING NEWS in that a French scientist has just told us that a very large male basking shark they tagged off France IS HEADING OUR WAY! Watch this space.