Basking shark at Trevose Head

In May, the second-biggest shark in the world starts to return to UK waters. But don’t worry, it’s harmless (unless you’re plankton).

These magnificent monsters of the deep can grow to 6-8 meters (20-26ft) in length and live for up to 50 years. 

Basking sharks can be found all over the world, including off the coast of Cornwall, the Hebrides and the Isle of Man. They’re seasonal visitors, arriving in large numbers between May and October each year. 

Fancy a bit of shark-spotting? Here are some of the locations basking sharks were recorded at last summer.

Shark hotspots

  • Dawlish, Devon 
  • Newquay, Cornwall 
  • Porthleven, Cornwall 
  • Mevagissey, Cornwall 
  • Land’s End, Cornwall 
  • Lizard Point, Cornwall 
  • The Scilly Isles

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