This is the first report on the presence of basking sharks Cetorhinus maximus in Galician waters (north-west Iberian Peninsula) from sightings, strandings and incidental catches by fishing gear. Morphometric, biological, geographic and temporal data on 19 basking sharks recorded from 1988 to 1998 are presented. Average total length is 401·4 cm. Male:female ratio is 0·6. Seventy per cent of records are from incidental fishing catches in bottom gill nets. Approximately 74% of sharks were recorded during February, March and April, which may suggest that the species occurs seasonally in this area.
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