23 November 2011

Basking Shark Hotspot - Scotland

Basking Shark © Ian Judd.
Morven Summers, Volunteer Coordinator for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT), concludes this year’s blog from Scotland, as the basking shark season draws to an end.

"Between June and October 2011, we have had a total of 51 reported encounters of basking sharks, totalling 280 individuals. Our sightings are all from the West Coast of Scotland; ranging from the isle of Barra on the West; to the Isle of Lewis in the North; to the Mull of Kintyre in the South.

There were 14 sightings of groups numbering more than 3 individuals; 7 of which were of groups of more than 10, 5 of which were of groups of more than 20. The largest single group spotted numbered 53, spotted off the coast of Barra.

The coasts off the isles of Barra, Coll and Tiree yielded the most sightings. Indeed, over half of the total amount of sightings were from this area and all the groups of more than 10 basking sharks were from these locations.

There were 12 sightings in June, 23 in July, 14 in August, 1 in September and 1 in October.  In comparison to previous summers, there have been far fewer recorded sightings of basking sharks and significantly fewer groups of more than 20 animals reported."

Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust