Large male basking shark live strands in Wexford

1st May 2005 A 7.19m male basking shark was seen in Ardmine bay, near Courtown, Co. Wexford on 28th April thrashing in the shallows. Images in strandings section.

Locals kept a watchful eye on the shark and at high tide it was approx 10 metres from the rocky shore when a large gash was noticed close to its head.

On Thursday the shark was found dead on a very inaccessible rocky plateau 50 metres from the bay. Local IWDG contacts were alerted and measurements and skin samples were taken and it appears this unfortunate beast may have had a collision with a large vessel, as it had a severe gash in the gill slit area.

This huge carcass posed a formidable challenge to the local council due to the poor access from the road. After consultation with the IWDG, we opted to dissect the shark with a chainsaw and wheel the sections away in wheelbarrows to an awaiting JCB, which scooped up the parts to an awaiting trailer!

This was a major task and the liver, which accounts for 25% of body weight, required 20 large heavy duty refuse sacks for disposal. The kidneys in contrast, were tiny and noticeably, there was very little blood, which bears out the theory that it had suffered major blood loss after the trauma and subsequent expiration.

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