Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Hundreds of basking sharks hit Donegal

Hundreds of basking sharks have turned up off the coast of Donegal in recent days.

The Inishowen Peninsula between Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle is fast being recognised by experts as a hotspot for the second largest fish in the ocean.

Locals have been gathering at Malin Head to catch a glimpse.

“There are loads of them out there. I'm seeing them almost daily and with a telescope you can get a close-up view,” said Rodney Lockwood, owner of the Sandrock Holiday Hostel at Port Ronan pier.

Fishermen and other boat users have also been thrilled by the sight of the huge fish breaching, or leaping entirely clear of the water and landing on their backs.

Emmett Johnston of the Irish Basking Shark Project, which is conducting research into the animals, said: “We have had a few panicking people on to us alright, but as people become more familiar with the basking sharks they realise that they are completely harmless.

“They feed on plankton. They are totally docile and they are not a threat to fishing.”

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