A West Cork wildlife photographer captured the magnificence of basking shark as they swam beside kayaker Peter Cleary at Red Strand this morning. In the footage a huge basking shark swims alongside the kayak, showing the immense size of the sharks.
Basking sharks with kayaker Paul Cleary this morning off Red Strand #WestCork. Best viewed in full screen. These are the 2nd largest fish on the planet. Bigger shark here is ~20ft long. #Cork #Ireland @BaskingIrish @IWDGnews @wildatlanticway @theskibeagle @CorksRedFM @Corks96FM pic.twitter.com/jSjTKy9Lu3— Intothewild Ireland (@intothewild45) April 20, 2021
Dan Lettice (@intothewildireland) says that while he hasn't had the privilege of swimming with the sharks just yet, they are docile enough to make him want to.
Finally got the drone over some feeding basking sharks this morning near Red Strand #WestCork. Here's a quick taster. Video footage to follow later. The bigger animal here was at least 20ft long. #Cork #Ireland #Wildatlanticway #DJI @BaskingIrish @IWDGnews @WildlifeMag @NatureRTE pic.twitter.com/pjU5Nd6rAA— Intothewild Ireland (@intothewild45) April 20, 2021
Basking sharks are the world's second-largest fish and can be seen feeding on plankton off the Irish coast between April and August. These gentle giants can grow up to 10-12 metres and weigh up to 3-4 tonnes.
The Irish Basking Shark Network urges us swimmers, boaters and kayakers to "social distance" from the sharks so as not to scare them or disrupt their feeding pattern.