A 50 foot-long basking shark was accidentally caught in a fishing trawlers’s net off the south coast of Ireland over the weekend and was eventually cut free by fisherman.
The fisherman aboard the Atlantic Jem attempted to save the slow moving basking shark from the 40 foot trawling net and were successfully able to but due to the stress put on the giant creature, it will be very unlikely if it survives.
The footage was posted on the Facebook page of Ballycotton Seafood Limited.
Basking sharks are the second biggest fish in our oceans but one of the gentlest. The shark prefers to stay on the top layers of the water, opening its large mouth to filter the ocean water to feed on plankton.
Trawling nets is one of the most destructive forms of fishing as it is unselective and severely damaging to seafloor ecosystems. The net indiscriminately catches every life and object it encounters. Thus, many creatures end up mistakenly caught and thrown overboard dead or dying, including endangered fish and vulnerable deep-sea corals that can live for hundreds of years or more.