Known for 'basking' in the sun, this friendly shark is the second largest after the Whale shark.
Basking Sharks are impressive migrators, historically found in all of our ocean's temperate zones. Although fished aggressively in past centuries, today the Basking shark is most commonly found in the waters off New Zealand, Canada and Ireland.
Like his cousin the Whale shark, the Basking shark is a filter feeder, relying on Zooplankton and small Invertebrates as its main source of nutrition.
Reaching sizes of up to 10 meters, these sharks are gentle giants, known to swim slowly and near the surface of the water. Characterized by their docile nature, Basking sharks are an easy fishing target, and they are still hunted for their flesh, fins, and the gallons of oil produced by their livers.
Basking sharks equipped with research tags have proved to scientists they can swim across oceans and cross equators along their journeys. They have also been seen breaching and swimming nose to tail in what is thought to indicate mating behavior.
With fewer than 8,000 female Basking sharks left in our oceans, scientists are hurriedly trying to learn more about these mysterious creatures. Some believe they could become indicators of climate change given they are constantly following, searching for, or feeding on a great indicator of eco-system health, Zooplankton.