Huge Basking Shark that Washed Up at Misquamicut was a Mature Male

Apr 29, 2013

Scientists at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center said they hope to get some answers from a necropsy being done on a huge basking shark that washed ashore at Misquamicut Beach over the weekend.

Nancy Kohler, a scientist at the center, said the 28.5-foot long shark was a mature male, in good condition, and it’s unclear why it washed up dead. Her research team is doing a necropsy on the shark, on the beach, and she said that’s drawing a lot of attention.

“I think the word is getting out and it’s attracting a bit of attention as people are going down,” said Kohler. “You just don’t get to see a basking shark, or a large shark, of this kind just walking along the beach in Rhode Island.”

Kohler said this is the time of year basking sharks are migrating from North Carolina to New England. She said only a handful have washed ashore since the Northeast Fisheries Science Center started researching them back in the 1960’s.

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