Basking shark
The basking shark is a globally threatened species which faces a high risk of extinction

Basking shark gains special protected status in Ireland

In Ireland, new regulations giving the basking shark the "protected wild animal" status under the Wildlife Act came into effect on 9 October. The order was signed by Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue. This legislation was heavily supported by the Irish Basking Shark Group (ISBG), an international network of researchers, educators, and community representatives founded in 2009.

South West Technical Diving

Ireland’s specialist and globally recognised technical centre, South West Technical Diving is delighted to support Peter and the team at X-Ray magazine.

We focus on technical training, trips and equipment.

For training, we are a TDI Dive Centre and ANDI facility and offer Cave Training (Open or closed circuit) to full and stage cave, Rebreather Training to full trimix on the JJ-CCR and Liberty Sidemount CCR and all levels of tech training up to instructor level.

Mmo iwdg / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Long-finned pilot whale cow with her calf, off the coast of Ireland. Photo by Mmo iwdg / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Buoy in Celtic Sea tracks oceanic noise

Equipped with an autonomous hydrophone, the buoy's function is to conduct for the first time real-time acoustic monitoring of the water's cetaceans to assess how oceanic noise pollution affects them. 

Deployed as part of the Smart Whale Sounds project, it will also track the distribution and behaviour of whale species in real-time and be used to train machine learning models to identify different species' calls. 

Head of a Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)
Head of a Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus)

Irish basking shark went to Africa

‘Banba’ a female basking shark tagged in July with a satellite transmitter off Malin head, Co. Donegal has just released its transmitter west of the Cape Verde Islands, over 5000km away from were it was originally tagged.

The movement by the shark ‘Banba’ into warm tropical waters off West Africa coupled with similar findings by Mattew Whitt working with Scottish Natural Heritage and leading American shark biologist Greg Skomal in the western Atlantic, questions the validity of the established theory that basking sharks inhabit temperate waters only.