REFLECTIONS ON A RARE BASKING SHARK ENCOUNTER
Dr. Simon Berrow narrates his experience with basking sharks in the fall off West Clare. The species is often seen feeding in this area in the spring - but the seasonal timing of this experience was not the only unusual component...
© Alexandra McInturf
SHARKS | Banba 'Bob'
Scoil Naomh Mhuire, Malin Head
Banba "Bob" was a 5m female shark with distinctive scarring behind the dorsal fin and right pectoral fin. She possessed unique notches on her dorsal fin, and was thus a good candidate for photo ID. She was equipped with a visual tag (ID 571) and a timed-depth recorder (TDR).
This shark was docile, remaining on the surface following tagging. She was initially spotted south of Malin Head in calm sea conditions as she fed on a distinctive tidal line with visibly high concentrations of plankton. Ideally, her unique identification marks will render her recognizable in future months and years.
Video taken prior to tag deployment
UPDATE: the satellite transmitter popped off at 12:16 on December 13, 2017. It was found to be west of the Cape Verde Islands (14.733N, 31.746W; ARGOS accuracy to 500 m). The distance of this transmitter from the initial tag site was over 5000 km.
© E. Johnston 2012
‘Banba’ is one of the three ancient queens of the island of Ireland. Malin Head, Ireland's most northerly point, is also called ‘Banba’s Crown’ in her honour. This is one of the few places on the island where the two alternate queens of the island (besides Erin) are remembered. It is also a key basking shark hotspot, as many in the local community know.