Ireland’s first basking sharks of 2015 spotted off West Cork

Basking Shark Dursey Island, West Cork

Basking Shark photographed from shore off Dursey Island, West Cork last year

The first reported Irish basking shark sighting of 2015 was logged on Monday 09 MarchThe sharks, one large and one smaller animal, were spotted from shore by observer Bridget Healy, just off the coast near Ardfield in West Cork.

Basking sharks, the second largest fish in the sea after the whale shark, are annual spring / summer visitors to Irish coastal waters. The first records typically come in from mid-March onwards, peaking from mid-may into June, and tapering off into August. So while this record is a little early it’s not extraordinary to see sharks this early in spring.

For more information on these gentle plankton-eating giants read our Basking Shark Species Profile here, and check out our feature on how to watch basking sharks in Ireland. It’s also worth checking the Irish Basking Shark Project website for in depth information about basking sharks and their conservation in Irish waters.

Irish basking shark records are coordinated by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group through their online sightings platform. If you see a basking shark please report your sighting to the IWDG here.

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success

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