|PSRF research intern Susan Arnold of UCSC tags the dorsal of a 25' long
basking shark in 200' feet of water near UCSC Long Marine Lab in the fall
of 1991. PSRF has tagged a world record number of basking sharks since
1990. The record stands at 81 basking sharks tagged. Researchers at the
Isle of Mann have tagged a similar number of basking sharks for DR Ken
Watterson, and the record may change hands soon.
|Basking shark breaching off the coast of Ireland.|
Dr. Ken Waterson took this photo in 1992.
|A 20'ft long basking shark cruises above the Soquel Canyon, Monterey bay, Autumn 1996.
|PSRF Director Sean Van Sommeran and skiff pilot Francis Namkoong (not
pictured) close with a basking shark in order to apply a marking CDFG ID
tag. Since fall of 1990 the PSRF has tagged a world record number of
basking sharks tagged with the present tally notched at 81 baskers
Except for the Monterey bay basking sharks have not been tagged anywhere
else along the entire West Coast. Basking sharks are highly elusive and
poorly understood creature whose movements and migrations are a complete
mystery. Tagging them is crucial to acquisition of these insights.|
|A basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus cruises the waters of the Monterey
Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Basking sharks are the world's second largest known species of shark.
Once abundant in the Monterey Bay there is a growing concern that this
amazing species of shark has been negatively impacted by the harpoon fishery
that crashed in the early 1950's as well as the ever-increasing pressures of
human encroachment. Note that the shark is closely following another
basker in a nose to tail formation. Sometimes several basking sharks will form
up in this position. The significance of this behavior is the source of
|Basking sharks, Cetorhinus maximus is the world's second largest known
shark and like the even larger whale shark, Rhincodon typus it is a
feeder that grazes on zooplankton. The basker's huge gill slits nearly
circle its head. These gills have rigid arches, which have stiff
gill-rakers that function much like whale baleen. |
|An immense basking shark, Cetorhinus maximus turns away from a free
Basking sharks can reach lengths of over 40 feet although 25-30 footers
They can appear singly or in the hundreds although they are not
as abundant as in the past.
The shark in this photo was at least 30 feet long.|