An urgent call is now being made to the Irish government to have the Irish basking shark declared an endangered species. An alarming decrease in their numbers and age profile has been established from observation and other sources of information. This species, until relatively recently, was hunted by Norwegian boats to a point at which their numbers no longer presented the Norwegians with a viable financial profit margin. The remaining basking sharks are highly vulnerable to Irish driftnets, with a high toll being taken on their ever-depleting numbers.
The cruellest fate of all is reserved for this fish species, as the favoured method of removing them from the driftnets is by hacking off their tails. This renders them helpless and they then sink to the ocean floor – where they suffer a lingering death – usually by being eaten alive by crabs, etc.