Welcome to Shark-Cast, coming to you from Basking Shark Scotland headquarters in Oban, Scotland. On this show we'll be talking about all things related to sharks and shark science, as well as current topics in the wider marine science field. We'll also be having a good waffle on about what the team have been up to recently.
2023 Guides Ben & Evan chat about swimming with Basking Shark and season trip highlights - Episode 17
26:59Shane talks to Ben & Evan about their season so far. Joining in April for the first time they've had a stellar season. Lots of wildlife sightings including John Coe & Aquarius, fin whales, epic minke interactions, swimming with basking sharks. Along with our amazing trip to Mingulay & St Kilda and adventures around the Inner Hebrides.
Do basking sharks breach? I.e do they jump out of the water....! Episode 16
35:43Yes they do! Rachel & Shane talk about the common question that we are asked. Do basking sharks breach? They are the biggest shark/fish in the world to do so and there has been a couple of recent studies that have measured speed and other parameters. The researchers found that the speed basking sharks attain when they breach is similar to that of white sharks. It is suggested that they breach for communication or courtship. Removal of parasites has also been suggested but perhaps more likely to be an ancillary benefit to the behavoir. Have you heard of the Carradale incident? Britain's only recorded death by (basking) shark attack. Listen to find out more!
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Scottish sharks. We chat to James Thorburn chat about spurdogs, flapper skate, tope, porbeagles & more! Episode 15
1:11:43Shock! We diverge away from basking sharks in this episode! Well....we mention them a few time! We don't just love basking sharks, there are loads of other sharks around the Scottish coast. Including some local favorites such as the flapper skate and spurdog. Two species our guest James, has written papers on. His study was instrumental in setting up the Loch Sunart to Jura MPA for flapper skate. The spurdogs are also close to Shane's heart as run a pioneering scuba dive to interact with them around Oban. We hear about James's study on them, how they are doing as a species and how important Loch Etive is to them. As we are all shark fanatics our chat heads down the shark worm hole and we end up talking about all sorts of sharks that we can find around the coast. Including Tope, Porbeagles, Blues & Threshers. This is a brilliant episode to chat about all the different sharks on our coast that you might not have heard about!
Hebrides & Clyde Basking Shark Research with Mauvis Gore & Rupert Ormond - Episode 14
1:03:15Rachel & Shane travel to the Isle of Mull from Oban to record an episode with Mauvis Gore & Rupert Ormond. Seasoned basking shark researchers who we've worked with over the years. We talk about how they got into marine biology and basking sharks. Talking about the research in the Clyde, working with ex basking shark hunter Howard McRindle. The famous basking shark who was first tracked across the Atlantic, travelling nearly 10,000km and diving over 1200m in depth. Then onto the Hebrides studies based out of Mull & Coll, photo ID, population estimates, close following and courtship. Then of course their favourite basking shark encounters! Special guest appearance from Captain Smudge the cat, perhaps the only cat in the world to see a cuviers beaked whale!
Basking shark hunting with Colin Speedie - Episode 13
38:21Our second part of our chat with Colin Speedie. In this episode, we move on from his survey work and that wonderful evening spent with numerous sharks. To the history of basking shark hunting, ranging from the the olden days many centuries ago, through to the post WW2 era and then the last of the hunting in the 90's. We hear about the romanticised hunters of the post war era including Gavin Maxwell, along with the ruthlessness of the Norwegian whaling fleets, who over the period have through to have taken over 60,000 basking sharks. It's always good to have a positive outcome though, despite such hunting, the basking sharks somehow managed to survive and recovering with the help of modern protective measures!
Basking Shark Surveys with Colin Speedie - Episode 12
32:22Colin Speedie is a well respected name in basking shark circles. With him conducting the bulk of early basking shark surveys around the west coast, laying groundwork for the modern scientific survey and ultimately the first marine protected area (MPA) in the world for basking sharks. Colin is also the founder of WISE, the training scheme for education on behaviour around marine wildlife. Along with being the author of A Sea Monsters Tale, a highly recommended read on basking sharks. We talk to him about the highs and lows of basking shark surveys, what he found and of course what was his best bit was. This is a two part podcast with the second part leading into his research into basking shark hunting.
Head Guide Luke Returns - Sperm Whales, White Sharks, Hammers, Antarctica & Seychelles - Bonus Shark-Cast Episode 11
32:13Our previous head guide and all round man machine Luke, returns to Scotland for a Christmas break from his overseas job. We say job but it doesn't sound like a job to us! DISCLAIMER - if you are really down about the UK weather at the moment do not listen to this!!!! After 6 seasons with us as head guide he scored a ridiculous job based out of the Seychelles and has been travelling the world filming amazing animals. Although he has experienced everything from sperm whales, white sharks to exploring Antarctica, he still has a big soft spot for the Hebrides! We are super proud of what he's been doing but also a tad jealous. Listen in to hear about some of his adventures around the big blue planet!
Our 10 year anniversary - how it all happened! Shark-Cast Episode 10
40:14Well....10 years later we're still here and heading towards our 11th season! There are certainly a few more grey hairs and wrinkles but it's nice to reflect back on all the adventures. Nikki & Shane join Rachel to chat about BSS beginnings then we catch up with Dr Inga Dehnet & Luke Saddler two of our previous long term staff to find out about their favourite memories and what they are doing now! We were hoping to grab a few more people together but we didn't want to make the episode too long and the Coastal boys are under the pump just now so we'll chat to them closer to the spring for maybe a boat breaking episode! ha!
Global Basking Shark Genetics & Shark Slime with Les Noble - Episode 9
48:06How do you collect basking shark DNA!? In this episode we speak to Les Noble about his long term study into basking shark genetics. Modern DNA techniques are revealing amazing information about basking sharks, how they are related and their migration patterns. During our tours we have been collecting slime samples for Les and his team to help with the study. This is a fascinating and exciting discussion into this ground breaking basking shark research. How related are basking sharks within a group? Do basking sharks return to the same area every year? Does this research highlight the vulnerability of basking shark to local exploitation. Listen in and also hear about the basking shark named Geri Halliwell!
How did the basking shark get it's name? Episode 8
57:01Following on from our blog post and youtube video on the subject. We've recorded a podcast chatting about the same subject! Join us for a whistlestop worldwide basking shark tour discussing how the name came about, how the English name is different to everywhere else. How far down the rabbit hole of names, human and natural history go!? Should we start a petition to change the name, since it was based on wrong assumptions? If so what would you call it?? Should the public be trusted not to vote Sharky McSharkFace!?