Basking sharks are the second largest living shark, easily distinguished by their huge mouths. These slow, harmless sharks often swim with their mouths open wide in order to filter-feed on plankton, copepods, larvae and fish eggs.
Basking sharks are caught in target fisheries around the world for their oil, meat and fins. They are also caught as bycatch in other fisheries. The IUCN Red List status in the Northeast Atlantic is “Endangered” and in the Mediterranean listed as “Vulnerable.” They are presently one of the most widely protected species.
Through our efforts on international fisheries, Oceana works to prevent the unsustainable fishing for finning of basking sharks.