Pilot boats and dolphin tour boats have been reporting regular sightings of this gentle giant in the Moray Firth. These plankton eating leviathan’s which can grow as long as a bus, have been wooing the public and stirring up general interest in their lifestyles. At one time hounded to the point of extinction, (fishing for them was finally outlawed in 1998) they remain the most mysterious of our summer visitors.
While the basking sharks have never been witnessed mating nor giving birth, it appears that the Hebrides are a key area for feeding and mating. Could this add another element to the debate on the extent of Marine Protected Areas? SNH are looking for the answer, working in conjunction with the University of Exeter, they have been conducting a study aimed at finding out a little more about their migration and feeding habits. Here you can follow the whereabouts of individual tagged fish on the west coast.
The Basking Shark Project is very keen to hear about all sightings. Also if you want to see some fabulous live footage courtesy of Ecoventures in Cromarty check out this link here.