Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man kayaker captures basking sharks on camera

Basking shark by Craig Whalley Image copyright Craig Whalley
Image caption The basking shark is a regular summer visitor to the island's waters

Three four metre-long basking sharks have been captured on camera by a kayaker off the Isle of Man coast.

Craig Whalley, from Onchan, came across the plankton-eating fish while exploring near an area known as Fleshwick, off the south coast.

Often growing as long as a bus, the basking shark is the world's second largest fish after the whale shark.

Mr Whalley said it was "always a privilege to see them" and "a fantastic experience".

Image copyright Craig Whalley
Image caption The sharks are usually greyish-brown and feed on plankton

He encountered the sharks feeding close to the shoreline and used an underwater camera to take his shots.

"You should never approach them but let them come to you," he said.

"I positioned myself in a visible line of plankton and they swam right underneath my kayak. They are such beautiful creatures, it was fantastic."

Image copyright Craig Whalley
Image caption The majestic creatures can grow longer than a bus

Mr Whalley has been kayaking for 15 years and has filmed sharks, whales, dolphins and even a sun fish within touching distance of his boat.

Basking sharks visit the region in summer between mid May and mid-August, when the water is full of plankton.

The biggest basking shark ever recorded was 45 ft (13.72m) which is longer than a bus.

Image copyright Craig Whalley
Image caption The International Union for Conservation of Nature class the species as "vulnerable"

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