Basking Shark

Cetorhinus maximus

The dorsal fin may be visible as this plankton-eating shark is seen filter feeding near the surface.

Its open mouth is about 2 metres wide. In calm conditions it may be seen close to the shore although is generally in deeper waters. The second largest fish in the world, it reaches up to 12 metres in length and weighs up to 7 tonnes. They are slow moving sharks, which may approach boats but are harmless.

How to be responsible when watching wildlife >

 

Discover more about the Basking Shark

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

This summer visitor migrates up the Irish Sea in the Gulf Stream, attracted by the zoo-plankton blooms of these warmer waters. In autumn they move south again and spend the winter living at depth along the edge of European continental shelf out in the Atlantic.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found along the West Coast of Scotland and out to sea from Galloway to Caithness and the Hebrides. Basking sharks may be viewed from the shore in sheltered bays, where there are rocky promontories and deeper water, not usually along shallow sandy beaches. Responsible viewing from boats is more rewarding.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

Basking sharks can be individually recognised and they are monitored by a range of organisations, including the UK Wildlife Trusts and data on individual sharks can be seen on www.baskingsharks.co.uk.

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

This summer visitor migrates up the Irish Sea in the Gulf Stream, attracted by the zoo-plankton blooms of these warmer waters. In autumn they move south again and spend the winter living at depth along the edge of European continental shelf out in the Atlantic.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found along the West Coast of Scotland and out to sea from Galloway to Caithness and the Hebrides. Basking sharks may be viewed from the shore in sheltered bays, where there are rocky promontories and deeper water, not usually along shallow sandy beaches. Responsible viewing from boats is more rewarding.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

Basking sharks can be individually recognised and they are monitored by a range of organisations, including the UK Wildlife Trusts and data on individual sharks can be seen on www.baskingsharks.co.uk.

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

This summer visitor migrates up the Irish Sea in the Gulf Stream, attracted by the zoo-plankton blooms of these warmer waters. In autumn they move south again and spend the winter living at depth along the edge of European continental shelf out in the Atlantic.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Found along the West Coast of Scotland and out to sea from Galloway to Caithness and the Hebrides. Basking sharks may be viewed from the shore in sheltered bays, where there are rocky promontories and deeper water, not usually along shallow sandy beaches. Responsible viewing from boats is more rewarding.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

Basking sharks can be individually recognised and they are monitored by a range of organisations, including the UK Wildlife Trusts and data on individual sharks can be seen on www.baskingsharks.co.uk.

Book your opportunity to see this wildlife

1 2