California coastal waters has not seen a basking shark visit their shores for over 30 years but that has all changed. In incredible footage posted on the Facebook page of The Duchess Yacht Charter Service, a basking shark can be seen in the water right off the coast.
The animal was first spotted off the coast of Malibu on March 31st and again on April 20th in nearly the exact same location.
The slow-moving migratory shark is the second largest fish, growing as long as 40 feet and weighing over 5 tons. Like this incident, the sharks are often spotted on the surface with their large mouths wide open, filtering water as they prowl the seas for zooplankton.
After centuries of targeted fishing around Europe, the basking shark is considered vulnerable to extinction. While several countries have given them some or complete legal protection, legal fisheries still exist in other places, and occasionally, basking sharks are captured unintentionally in other fisheries.