If touched they feel very rough in one direction and smooth in the other.

If you are joining us from Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, then please meet on the pontoons at the south end of the harbour next to Tobermory Harbour Centre. The basking sharks (North Atlantic) have a very interesting migration pattern which was relatively unknown until recent years. A California man dove into the Pacific Ocean expecting to swim with a basking shark, but quickly panicked when he thought it was a great white shark.. …

Another fact which is relatively unknown about basking sharks is that they do have teeth. See our FAQ's for more information of travelling to Oban.

The sharks are still targeted in other countries to use in shark fin soup – it has been reported that one exceptionally large dorsal fin even reached $57,000 USD.

The stunning turqoise sea around the Isle of Tiree provides a rich feeding ground for the friendly giants during the summer.

Basking sharks were hunted using harpoon guns similar to what would have been used in whaling then cut up for their meat, their large liver and fins. The largest island in the Inner Hebrides is another key location to see the majestic fish. There have also been reports of sharks on the east side of the island near the village of Corrie. The basking shark is the second largest fish in our oceans - its relative the whale shark being the biggest. A 1948 aerial survey in Monterey Bay counted 2,000 basking sharks in a single day. Basking sharks are enormous fish, second only to whale sharks in sheer size.


The main migration in spring coincides with the first plankton bloom of the year with the peak of numbers showing in mid summer, then the southerly migration occurs around September and October. Oban is easy to reach from all over the UK. As such, they have not been studied as extensively as other sharks. Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. “Once you make that kind of connection with an animal, it’s pretty hard to forget.”, More Yahoo News: http://news.yahoo.com/worlds-second-biggest-fish-tracked-surprising-locale-172605244.html, The Global Animal Foundation, 501(c)(3) functions like a Green Cross for animals and gets resources on the ground during disasters and emergencies that put animals, from pets to wildlife, in critical peril…. The shark follows planktonconcentrations in the water column, so is often visible at th… During our own studies we have found that whilst copepods can be abundant all over the coastline, the areas where the larger individuals are located have the most sharks. Near Hawaii, the colossal fish spent all its time in surprisingly deep seas, lingering in twilit waters 1,600 feet (500 meters) down during the day, and commuting up to a depth of 650 feet (200 m) at night.

Unfortunately on the day we saw the shark we weren't able to find it again to possibly help it.

The basking shark inhabits all oceans of the world, but it prefers the subpolar seas and in general cold and temperate waters of the continental shelves. Basking sharks, the second-largest fish on the planet, were once plentiful along the Pacific coast of North America, gathering by the hundreds and even the thousands. And in addition to revealing where the sharks may go when they leave coastal waters, the tracking device also revealed somewhat startling information about where the sharks like to hang out.

On Feb. 2, a basking shark tagged with a tracking device in June 2011 suddenly checked in near Hawaii — after eight months of silence. Basking Sharks are regular summer visitors to the coastal waters of Lewis and Mangersta Head, a beautiful beach on the west of the island is a great place to spot them. The Truth About Dog Bites: Don’t Bully Breeds! Basking sharks can be seen swimming close to the surface of the sea with their large mouths open to catch plankton in the Inner and Outer Hebrides, as well as off Skye and the west Highland coast. Public sighting schemes in some locations (e.g. Although there is a theory that the breaching may be a way of ridding themselves of the parasitic lamprey, the energy required to breach would not seem to be worth the benefit of increased swimming efficiency. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Only a 2-3 hour scenic drive from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness or Perth via the A85 and is well served by public transport with direct rail services from Glasgow Queen Street along with …

Some data indicate that as few as 300 animals remain in the entire region. Scotland has some of the richest cold waters in the world and every spring, oceanic and weather cycles create optimal conditions for explosive blooms of plankton. Although they are seasonal visitors to our waters, there is evidence of some that stay over winter, with fishermen reporting them in mid winter, divers witnessing them in deep water and even some washing up after bad weather or in poor condition. Any other display in nature is usually to do with breeding and it is generally accepted that this behaviour is related to the cycle in some way.

They are formed on two cusps on the upper and lower jaw with numerous rows and hundreds of individual teeth.

“They’re huge and potentially imposing, but they’re incredibly docile and kind of peaceful,” she said. Mull is a popular place to spot the giant fish, and a number of tours operate from nearby Oban.

These large scale climate and oceanographic changes have unseen effects for the general public but manifest as changes in plankton assemblages and their  life cycles. They are listed under CITES Appendix II and classified as a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
The good news is that the shark was seen again the next year with a nicely healed scar in the same place. And it was in the Atlantic that Dewar had her own up-close encounter with the species, an experience that has, in part, continued to inspire her research.

It has also given us an insight into their autumn and spring migration to and from our islands. They are the second biggest shark in the entire ocean- only the tropical whale shark is bigger. Our partnership with Aggregate Industries UK Ltd, Our commitment to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI), Different types of protected wildlife sites. There seems to be a higher incidence of this is the Hebrides than in other areas and at times of large shark aggregations. But the best way to see them is to go out and find them and there are a number of boat tours which take you right to basking shark hotspots.

Lampreys are a type of parasite which attach themselves to the same area and can sometimes be mistaken for claspers when we are tying to identify the sex.

Basking sharks do breach clean of the water and are the largest shark in the world to do so. Although they are not used in feeding, they may be used for mating and we have seen scarring on the fins that may indicate this. We receive a number of Scottish basking shark sightings from the public located all over Scotland. The colour of the sharks can vary but they are usually a dark grey with different patterns and markings along their flank.

With a high concentration of plankton, the sear appears green. Despite their ferocious appearance — they swim along the ocean’s surface with their giant mouths agape — basking sharks are filter feeders, funneling swarms of microscopic zooplankton down their gullets. The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the biggest fish in Scotland and the UK, and one of only three plankton eating (planktivore) sharks worldwide.
Order: Lamniformes 

The Wowhead Client is a little application we use to keep our database up to date, and to provide you with some nifty extra functionality on the website! Have you ever wondered why the sea is blue, or whether dolphins sleep? Hot-spots include Hynish Bay, Balemartine and Crossapol and Gunna Sound from Caoles.

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