Guest blogger: Eleanor Stone, Manx Wildlife Trust.
The Isle of Man is one of the best places in the world to watch basking sharks. In the summer months, this small island acts like a magnet, seemingly drawing these gentle giants to its shores. The Manx Wildlife Trust runs a project which raises public awareness about the endangered basking shark and carries out scientific research to help conserve them.
Basking shark by Eleanor Stone
The Isle of Man has not escaped the extended winter which Britain has experienced this year. The sea temperature is still a couple of degrees cooler than would be expected and so I was resigned to the fact that this would mean a late start for the basking shark season, which usually begins the middle of May. However, nature likes to prove me wrong and on 14 May we had our first sighting reported. Not only had one basking shark appeared but, as the saying goes, 'you wait ages for one and then three come along at once!'
by Ben Arthur
Hopefully this will be the start of a good season, as we have an exciting new tagging project getting underway. These tags will allow us, and the public via a website, to track a basking shark in almost real time. Fingers crossed for sunny skies and calm seas.