Basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) are the second largest living fish, next to the whale shark. Basking sharks consume plankton and are slow-moving filter feeders. They have been targeted by humans as a food source. People consume basking shark meat and fins. Basking shark liver oil has been used in supplements and topical treatments, and basking shark products have even been used in animal feed. They are widely distributed in cold and temperate waters, but several populations have been overexploited, earning basking sharks a vulnerable status.
Photo and haiku: Samantha Oester