A world conference on basking sharks in Britain today has announced nature reserves may be set up around the British coast in an attempt to protect the world’s second biggest fish. Worldwide, they are threatened by boat collisions, entanglement in fishing nets and in some parts of the world are hunted for their fins (to be used in shark fin soup).
Proposals for its formal protection in British marine nature reserves are likely to come the conference. Dr Lissa Goodwin, marine policy officer for the Wildlife Trusts, said conservation zones for the species might be included in the marine nature reserves which will be set up around the coasts of Britain under the Marine Bill currently going before parliament.
“There are definite threats to the basking shark in Britain, such as boat collisions and entanglement in nets, but we don’t know what the level of threat is to the population as a whole, so we need to err on the side of caution,” she said.