If you’re reading this, you may already be aware that it’s a policy of mine to celebrate working with a new organisation by adopting a marine animal on their behalf (in the form of a charity donation). Today, I’m sharing why I have chosen basking sharks as one of my chosen species for this adoption programme. Enjoy!
Basking shark fact file
- Common name: Basking shark
- Scientific name: Cetorhinus maximus
- Alternate animal name: I don’t think they have one… how about the B-raaaaawr-sking shark?!
- Conservation status: Endangered
- Diet: Plankton
- Average life span: 50 years
- Reaches sexual reproduction at: 12-16 years (males) or 20 years (females)
- Pregnancy lasts: around 14 months
- Largest recorded individual: 12.27m
- Weight: up to seven tonnes
- Fun fact: The second largest fish in the sea (after the whale shark), they got their name ‘basking sharks’ because they tend to spend lots of time at the surface of the water as if they were basking in the sunlight
Why do you love basking sharks?
While most people would think being in the water with an enormous shark would be absolutely terrifying, I’d love to see these filter-feeders munching on plankton with their huge mouths (which can reach up to a metre wide) agape as they swim along.
Unlike the other animals in my adoption programme (manta rays, whale sharks and humpback whales), I’ve never seen a basking shark in real life. Even so, there’s something intriguing and endearing about these gentle giants. But I’m excited to have booked a trip to go and visit them in Coll, Scotland, later this summer (travel restrictions permitting). Keep your fingers crossed for me and, hopefully, I’ll be able to update this blog with some amazing basking shark experiences then.
Sadly, basking sharks are listed as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species so I hope any adoptions I make will make a small difference to the protection of these loveable giants.
Which charity will the basking shark adoption support?
Basking shark adoptions will support the Shark Trust’s project to help basking sharks in the Northeast Atlantic. The Shark Trust is a charity working towards safeguarding the future of sharks through positive change. They achieve this through science, education, influence and action.