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Meet a denizen of the deep at Cornwall’s first 'Basking Shark Road Show'
1:00pm Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
Intrigued by basking sharks, well people in Cornwall will have a chance to find out more about these denizens of the deep at the first ever 'Road Show' dedicated to the giant visitors.
Between August 25 and 30 the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Basking Shark Road Show will be travelling around tourist attractions all over the county to spread the word about our largest marine visitor.
Cornwall is a hotspot area for these magnificent creatures, and they can be often seen from the cliff tops between May and October.
The Basking Shark Road-Show will be visiting;
• The Minack Theatre, on Sunday 25th August.
• The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow on Monday 26th August.
• Newquay Aquarium on Tuesday 27th August.
• The Seal Sanctuary in Gweek on Wednesday 28th August.
• The Monkey Sanctuary near Looe on Thursday 29th August.
• The National Maratime Museum in Falmouth on Friday 30th August.
The road show will be run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s marine experts, and will feature a stall with real life examples of shark jaws, games, activities, an interactive giant wooden basking shark, and lots of information about Cornwall’s wildlife!
Eleanor Taylor from the trust’s Seaquest Southwest project said: “The basking shark is a truly spectacular animal and we are so lucky to be able to see them in Cornwall. This is a really exciting opportunity for everyone to come and learn more about the sharks, and other species found in Cornwall.”
Basking sharks are the largest fish found in British waters, and the second largest fish in the world. They reach up to 12 metres in length but are completely harmless feeding only on microscopic zooplankton, which includes things like fish and barnacle eggs, and deep water oceanic shrimp.
To do this they filter 1.5 million litres of water per hour. This is the equivalent volume to an Olympic sized swimming pool. The sharks were, until recently, hunted in UK waters for their oils, and they only received protection in 1998. Basking sharks are listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable to extinction with an overall trend of populations still decreasing.
If you are lucky enough to see a basking shark, help us help them by recording your sighting, email email@example.com.
All sightings go to the environmental records centre for Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly, and are used to further our understanding of the sharks, in order to put better conservation measures in place.
For more information on the Wildlife Trusts Living Seas Projects see, www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/livingseas.