For many years we have carried regular reports of sightings of basking sharks off the Donegal coast and we have featured videos sent in by readers who have come across these gentle giants of the sea, but worrying news has emerged that they are on a marine list of endangered species in Irish waters.
Basking sharks are among the biggest fish in the North Atlantic and are the second-biggest fish in the world, after the whale shark.
Although no longer fished commercially they are one of 11 species of fish at risk of extinction in Irish waters.
The basking shark feature on what’s known as the Red List of Marine Life. The Red List of marine life classed as critically endangered or endangered also included another 25 types found off Irish coasts which are said to be vulnerable or near threatened.
The Donegal Democrat has regularly reported on basking shark sightings all along our coastline, in particular sightings off Malin Head, during the summer months, are quite common.