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Hook Head Sighting of Basking Sharks is "Incredible Start" to 2022 (Podcast)

1st April 2022
Historically, basking sharks were hunted along the West Coast of Ireland
Historically, basking sharks were hunted along the West Coast of Ireland Credit: Simon Berrow

The sighting of a big number of basking sharks off Hook Head is “an incredible start” to the 2022 basking shark season, according to the Irish Basking Shark Group.

It is one of a number of sightings in the past week, reported from the Aran Islands and from Baltimore in West Cork. For several years the first sightings of the year have been reported in March, some even as early as February, more regularly in April. As well as Cork and Galway sightings of early arrivals have previously been noted in Kerry, Donegal and Waterford.

Historically, basking sharks were hunted along the West Coast of Ireland. According to records 12,000 of the sharks were killed close to Achill Head.

basking shark sightings

The sighting off Hook Head is of particular interest to the Irish Basking Shark Group because of the numbers. It was reported by Charlie O’Malley on March 24 - six to eight nautical miles off the Hook. He estimated there were between 100 and 150.

Because of their declining numbers, basking sharks are to be protected in Irish waters under the Wildlife Act.

Listen to my Podcast here for more details of the Hook Head sighting.

Published in Tom MacSweeney, Sharks
Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney

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Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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