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Rare basking shark spotted

March 8, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Our Amazing Planet - A rare basking shark was located off the coast of Hawai'i last week. The animals are the second largest fish on the planet.

The shark was tagged in June 2011 in waters near San Diego. It is one of only four that have been tagged in the Pacific Ocean and the only one that still has a tag. It is the first time the animal has been located in more than eight months.

"It's the first time that anyone has demonstrated a direct connection between basking sharks in the eastern Pacific and the central Pacific," said Heidi Dewar, a research biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 2,500-mile trip is the longest ever recorded for the species. The tracking device also reported the shark's whereabouts on the journey, revealing its penchant for surprisingly deep waters (1,600 feet below the surface) during the day and at night as well (650 feet).



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