Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Short Communication

Movements and growth of a female basking shark re-sighted after a three year period

David W.  Sims a1p1, Colin D.  Speedie a2 and Adrian M.  Fox a1
a1 Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ, UK
a2 Wildlife Trusts Seaquest Project, Waterside House, Falmouth Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 8BE, UK


Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) movement patterns and growth rates over annual cycles remain entirely unknown. Here the re-sighting of a female identified by a highly distinctive first dorsal fin, after a 3·1 year period is described. Our results show this individual foraged at the surface in coastal areas off south-west England in at least two of four summer seasons and increased in total length by 2·4 m over this period. The growth increment observed was similar to that predicted from the growth model for this species.

(Received April 12 2000)
(Accepted June 25 2000)

p1 Marine Biological Association, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth, PL1 2PB, UK