Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prematured Death of Basking Shark

Giant Basking Shark Had Washed Ashore on 14 August, 2009

Very recently on Tuesday July 14, 2009 a male basking shark was found dead on the Long Island beach. This 26 feet, 6 inches long majestic creature was incredibly heavy with around 5000 pounds body weight. The marine educator Tracy Marcus of the Cornell Cooperative Extension informed that the male basking shark died shortly after the had authorities arrived on the scene. According to Tracy Marcus, there wasn't any abrasion found in the external part of the shark's body. What could be the possible reason of the premature death of the basking shark? Marcus said that the shark might be struck by a heavy vessel or boat, but that was merely an assumption. The reason of the sudden death of the shark is still not known. Confusion also surged in to people's mind as to what actually made the shark find its way to the Gilgo State Park near Babylon in Suffolk County. According to David Chapman of Stony Brook University, "It didn't die of old age, because they get to 35 or 40 feet." The shark was around 26 feet long, which indicates that the death is premature. Yet still, it was an imposing site to those who were present on the beach when the shark actually washed up the shore.

The British conservationists have petitioned to have the majestic creature "hotspots" protected. Researchers have spared adequate thoughts over the issue. They think that the summer temperature might be responsible for an explosion the population of the zooplankton off the coasts of Britain and Ireland. This made many basking sharks attracted to the specific region. While during the last year (2008) there were only 26 basking sharks sighted, but the since the beginning of June, 2009 the total sightings have been recorded to be more than 900; June's record alone have shown an incredible number of sightings of 248 basking sharks!

A Marine and Coastal Access Bill has made its way through British Parliament with a noble motive to introduce "marine conservation zones". The "marine conservation zones" is a protected area in the ocean to be identified basking shark "hotspots".There will be speed limitations for the boats in this area. 47 wildlife trusts across the UK, Alderney, and the Isle of Man are heading the project. Lissa Goodwin the marine policy officer of these trusts said that the chief aim of the group "is to ensure there is no loss in the population size" of basking sharks.
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