World basking shark day is celebrated on the 3rd of November every year. Founded by Basking Shark Scotland, it is a day to raise the profile of the endangered basking shark by sharing information, photos, videos and stories of the world’s second-largest fish.
What is World Basking Shark Day?
There are so many different wildlife days in the calendar, and we didn’t want our favourite fish to be left out (especially when their tropical counterpart the whale shark has its own day!). Basking sharks are still a relatively unknown species, world basking shark day is a day to raise awareness for this incredible animal.
The basking shark is classified as endangered and after a period of intensive hunting in the last century their population is struggling to recover. Although there are no longer targeted fisheries for basking sharks they are still under threat from human activity. These threats include changes to their food source through increasing sea temperatures and climate change, entanglement and bycatch.
Their last stronghold is the North East Atlantic where we have the world’s first marine protected area (MPA) for them in Scotland. This area has been essential for basking shark research, and has contributed greatly to our understanding of basking sharks – though we still have a long way to go! For the past 10 years, we have been gathering sightings data and assisting researchers to learn more about these fascinating giants. (link to basking shark science)
The UK and Ireland become home to some of the world’s largest basking shark aggregations each year, but this species still seems to be under the radar of the general public. We want to raise awareness and educate more people about basking sharks, celebrate them and ensure their protection for the future.
When is world basking shark day?
Join us on the 3rd of November to celebrate the basking shark.
To get involved in World Basking Shark Day you can do so online or host your own in-person event. Post your photos, videos and stories on social media, using the official #worldbaskingsharkday tag, and don’t forget to tag @baskingsharkscotland so we can share!
Seeing basking sharks in November is unlikely as this is the time they are migrating away from our shores but this doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate them in person. Host an event, talk, film screening or beach clean to get together and talk about basking sharks. Learn more about basking sharks on our species fact file, podcast and research publications.