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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 13:34 UK

Basking sharks in Manx waters

Basking shark off the Isle of Man
The sharks are most commonly seen from mid-May to mid-August

The first basking shark of the season has been spotted off the coast of the Isle of Man.

The shark was seen on Friday off the shore near Niarbyl, by Tom Felce from Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch.

The sharks, which are harmless and feed off plankton, are usually spotted from mid-May to mid-August on the south and south eastern shores of the island.

They are protected from being hunted or harassed in the Isle of Man and in many parts of the world.

The number of sightings has shot up over the last few years and experts believe climate change is a factor, with the sharks following plankton from warmer seas.

Anyone who sees a shark off the island's coast over the next few months can report the sighting to the Manx Wildlife Trust.



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