Basking shark (cetorhinus maximus) is the second largest fish in the world and the largest in British waters, growing up to 9.8m in length. They are known to migrate over large distances in both offshore and coastal waters at depths from the surface to over 750m. They are particularly associated with tidal fronts on the continental shelf and shelf edge where they feed on plankton.
They have been recorded from around the whole Scottish coast, with sightings peaking in the summer months especially at a number of locations on the west coast.
There are three groups of layers included:
- Statistical approaches to aid identification of Marine Protected Areas for Basking Sharks. Based on SNH Commissioned Report No. 594, these include:
- Observed adjusted densities of Basking shark; and
- Modelled persistence of above mean density of Basking shark (summers 2001-2012)
- Basking shark effort related sightings displays Aggregated annual effort related Basking shark sightings data from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, the Wave Action Trust and The Wildlife Trust for various years (2003-2011).
- Basking shark satellite tagging data (2012-2015) for a number of individual sharks.
as well as a general 'sightings and distribution' layer.