Company: Irish Basking Shark Project
Contact: Emmett Johnston
Location: Buncrana, Inishowen
Tel: + 353 (0)74 93 22628
Mob: + 353 (0)87 2867055
Not many greater places to see some Shark activity
than that of the waters of Inishowen. Basking Sharks
to be more precise. Local Fisherman have even nicknamed the area 'Shark Country'.
These impressive Sharks can grow up to 10m in length and heavier than an African elephant. Lets just say it can be somewhat difficult to miss the basking shark when out on the water or even strolling along one of the many rugged cliffs tops or pure sandy bays that Inishowen offers to the visitor.
If you are out on the water don't panic, although it's sheer presence along would be extremely intimidating, it's a harmless docile plankton eater with microscopic teeth
but it must still be treated with respect in its own environs. The best locations to see the Sharks are at Dunaff head, Tullagh point and Ballyliffen beach
. Little is actually known about the gigantic fish, it is the largest in the Atlantic
and the second largest in the world.
May and June are by far the peak sightings period, with July, August and September
good if calm conditions can be encountered. To be honest, anywhere along the Inishowen coastline is good for watching out for the Sharks. The sharks often come close to shore and even into the numerous small harbours dotted along the coastline which would make for an impressive sight. It is not necessary to use optics in the peak sighting periods when sharks often rub off the rocky coast, often only an arms reach away. Boat based viewing is on demand from Culdaff, Rathmullan and Greencastle harbours.
Sunfish and leatherback Turtles can also be encountered by chance on this coastline.
If you are using a boat to view these magnificent animals please remember to respect them in their own environment. Turn the engine to neutral when within 50m of the animals and maintain a constant speed ( less than 8knots). Remember for every shark you see on the surface there are usually 4-8 sharks below.
If you intend to swim with the sharks please remember to respect the animals in their own envious particularly the tail, which can be a powerful force when diving, or with a sudden change of direction. If you encounter sharks please report the sighting to the Inishowen basking shark project at www.baskingshark.ie
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