Basking shark spotted off Torquay

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The second largest fish in the world has been spotted in a UK marina.

The 12ft basking shark was photographed by paddle-boarders in Torquay Marina on Wednesday.

Members of Torquay Water Sports described it as an “amazing sight”.

“A basking shark popped in for a look around and then slipped back out again… almost unnoticed,” they said.

“An amazing sight indeed.”

The basking shark was spotted in Torquay marina (Torquay Water Sports/PA)
The basking shark was spotted in Torquay Marina (Torquay Water Sports/PA)

A RNLI Torbay spokesman said: “The largest fish in British waters, basking sharks are typically anything up to 28ft and can weigh 9,000lb.

“No need for panic though – their main food is plankton and they don’t bother humans.”

Basking sharks are most often seen on the west coast of the UK, from spring until autumn, with occasional sightings in winter.

Basking sharks, which are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, are the second largest fish, after the whale shark, and can grow to more than 30ft.

But they are not a danger to people as they feed only on plankton – swimming along with their huge mouth open and using specialised “rakers” in their gills to extract their food as it passes through them.

Basking sharks are thought to live for more than 50 years.

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