Life of Sea |Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) | Basking sharkis a coastal-pelagic sharkfoundworldwide inboreal towarmtemperatewaters aroundthe continental shelf. This shark is called Basking sharkbecause itis mostcommonly observedwhen feedingon the surfaceandseems tobask inthe warmerwatersthere.Duringthe summer, they feed onplanktonnearthe surfacein morecoastalwaters. Theyare foundintemperatewaters ofboth the Pacificand AtlanticOcean.Theyare usually seenbypeople ator near thesurface and areobservedalongalmosteverycoastlinebordering theAtlanticand Pacific Oceans. Along thewest coastof North America, they are perceivedfromBritishColumbiato BajaCalifornia, mostly inthe winterandspring months.
Species: C. maximus
Baskingsharkshaveenormous size, conicalsnout, sub-terminal mouthes, very largegill slits, dark hair-likegillsRakersinside thegills(present most ofthe year), strong keelsandlargelunatetail(curved) tails. Baskingsharkshavealarge number ofsmall teeth. Their bodiesare mottledgray/brown toslate-gray or black, sometimes withlighterpatcheson the back. The ventralside ispaler, often withwhitespots under thenoseandthe mouthor alongthe belly. TwoalbinoBasking sharkof the NorthAtlanticOceanare included. Itis thesecondlargestfish, surpassed onlybythe whaleshark. Their averagesize is6.7-8.8m. Thelargest measuredBasking sharkwas 9.75m, 9.14m longandoneindividual wasrecordedthat weighed3.900kg. There are alsounconfirmed reports ofbasking sharksto 13.7m long.
Baskingsharkcan openthemouthcavityto 1.2m wide. This will allow waterto passover thegillRakers, where smallfish andinvertebratesfrom the watertribe. Theyare often seenfeedingnearthe surface.Baskingsharksgive birth to liveyoung, youthrecordedthe smallestmeasuredabout 165cmin length. Female Basking sharkare assumed toreachsexualmaturityat4 to 4.9m longreaching. Baskingsharkswere observedbreeding inthe NorthAtlanticOcean inMayThe locationof thenursinggroundsis unknown. WhileBasking sharkshave fewor nopredators,whitesharks andkiller whaleshave been reportedas theirpredators.
Baskingsharksare social animalsandaresex-segregated schools, usually insmall numbers, 3 or4. Basking sharkhas long beenaneed forcommerciallyimportant fish, especially in Japan, asasource of food, shark, feed, andsharkliver oil.Basking sharkis widelyhuntedfor its hugeliver, which is full ofsqualene(shark oil)and is used asalubricant, in cosmeticsandsupplements.Theyarealsohunted forits largefin, which is usedinsharkfin soup.Basking sharkishuntedfor its meat, which can beeatenfresh, dried orsalted. This over-exploitation hasreducedthe population ofBasking shark.