Basking Shark Visits Keem Bay, Achill Island

May 2019

In recent weeks a large basking shark has taken up residence in Keem Bay and surrounding waters off Achill Island, Co. Mayo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Estimated at up to 25 feet (7m) in length, the huge shark has attracted crowds of spectators and has been captured by photographers and videographers including via drone, on kayak and underwater.

Basking sharks can grow up to 10m in length and are the world’s second largest fish (after the whale shark). They are viewed as generally harmless to humans, being plankton eaters, though it is recommended not to get too close as their powerful tailfins can easily capsize a kayak or small craft.