The world’s second largest fish, and the largest in British waters – the basking shark cruises Scottish waters each summer. Despite growing up to 10 metres in length, basking sharks are gentle, toothless giants that eat only plankton.
They have been spotted around the whole Scottish coast, with sightings peaking in the summer months especially in the waters off the west coast. Particular hotspots include the Firth of Clyde, off the coast of Oban and around the Isles of Coll, Tiree and Canna. This area is one of the best in the world for the basking shark.
On an organised tour, held from April to October to coincide with the migration of the sharks to the area, you can go in-water swimming with them and other wildlife. You can swim, snorkel or kayak with the sharks, seals and other native marine life. Or if you’d prefer, you can just be a shark watcher from the boat!
The second largest fish in the world, it’s their method of eating that earns them their name – basking at the surface with their mouths open. They spend a lot of time in the open ocean, but like regular, reliable tidal fronts which brings them in closer to those islands in the Inner Hebrides.
In addition to the regular basking shark sightings, Scotland’s waters are also home to minke whales, common and bottlenose dolphins, harbour and grey seals, porpoises and more.