"Giant Sharks Swim Onto Species Watch List"

"The federal government declared in April that basking sharks in the Pacific Ocean are a 'species of concern,' which means the government doesn't yet have enough information to say the giant fish is threatened or endangered, but it might be.

'Giant fish' isn't an exaggeration — the largest recorded basking shark was the length of a school bus. And for fisheries research biologist Heidi Dewar, technical language just won't suffice when it comes to describing why basking sharks are interesting to study.

'They're just really cool and amazing-looking and beautiful,' says Dewar, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, Calif. 'There's nothing like just driving up in a boat to one of these monstrous brown creatures slowly, gently, peacefully swimming through the ocean.'"

Joe Palca reports for NPR's All Things Considered September 13, 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010