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
Here you will find answers to your frequently asked questions and queries. Still can't find what you are looking for? Please reach out with more detailed inquiries via our "Contact" page.
I want to get involved! Do you take volunteers?
We appreciate that you are interested in working with us! At the moment, we do not have the capacity to train volunteers for field operations. However, we aim to build an educational presence throughout Ireland. If you have experience in education, outreach, science communication, and/or research and would like to dedicate your time to sharing information about basking sharks in your community, let us know. Please note that we are a volunteer organisation ourselves and therefore cannot offer financial compensation at this time.
Do you have data I can use for a school project, and/or can you help supervise student projects?
We try to facilitate educational opportunities around basking sharks whenever possible. We do have some data that may be of use; however, a majority of our projects take place in partnership with other institutions and are explicitly funded so as to be published by our own researchers and/or collaborators. That means that we are often restricted in which data we can share. Additionally, we can help direct students who are seeking areas of study and offer insight into the basking shark population in Ireland, but again, at the moment we do not have the capacity to take on students for internships or provide extended mentorship.
I have my own funding and would like to work with the IBSG. Is that possible?
Given our limited resources, it is much easier for us to facilitate projects that have already obtained funding (or if there is an established plan to do so). If this applies to you, please send us a brief proposal (<5 pages) with your funding plan and needs from the IBSG, and we can set up a meeting to discuss feasibility and project plans moving forward.
I have experience with marine research and would like to assist in field projects. Can I serve as a seasonal field assistant with the IBSG?
Our fieldwork is extremely dependent on funding availability and, as above, is often conducted as part of larger work with local and international universities and institutions. Personnel capacity on vessels is often limited and constricted by permits and boat plans developed by collaborating institutions. This makes it extremely difficult for us to host researchers who are not directly involved in those projects already, and therefore we do not have seasonal positions available.
I work in media and/or the film industry and would like to see basking sharks or talk to experts about them. Can the IBSG facilitate this?
We are happy to offer our insights on these animals and help offer broader exposure to them through the media. If you need an interview, film recording, etc. please reach out to us via our "Contact" page. We appreciate your patience with our reply, as we are a small team with additional research positions at various other institutions. For film crews, specifically those not present in Ireland already, we caution that basking sharks are wild animals and as such, we cannot guarantee their presence on a given day on the water.
I would like to donate to the IBSG to contribute to ongoing research and education efforts. What is the best way to do so?
We are grateful for any financial contribution to our mission! There are a few ways to support our ongoing work. First, you are welcome to visit our online store - we receive a small portion of the proceeds for each purchase. If you'd like to donate directly, we can offer more direct guidelines on how to find us on PayPal. Please reach out on our "Contact" page.