Basking sharks

What is it: 

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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).
  3. Basking shark satellite tagging data (2012-2015) for a number of individual sharks.

as well as a general 'sightings and distribution' layer.

Links to Scotland's Marine Atlas: 
This information page is part of the theme: 
Basking shark - Copyright © SNH

Links and Resources

Map Type Click title for metadata and licence informationsort descending Date of data View Map
NMPi 2003 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2003-01-01 to 2003-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2003 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Wave Action and The Wildlife Trusts Basking shark survey (2003 - 2006)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2003-01-01 to 2003-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2004 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2004-01-01 to 2004-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2004 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Wave Action and The Wildlife Trusts Basking shark survey (2003 - 2006)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2004-01-01 to 2004-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2005 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2005-01-01 to 2005-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2005 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Wave Action and The Wildlife Trusts Basking shark survey (2003 - 2006)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2005-01-01 to 2005-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2006 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2006-01-01 to 2006-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2006 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Wave Action and The Wildlife Trusts Basking shark survey (2003 - 2006)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2006-01-01 to 2006-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2007 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2007-01-01 to 2007-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2008 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2008-01-01 to 2008-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2009 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2009-01-01 to 2009-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2010 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2010-01-01 to 2010-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2011 annual effort related Basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) sightings per kilometre (Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Effort Related Sightings data (2003 - 2011)) (SNH WMS) (restricted zoom) 2011-01-01 to 2011-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 119854 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 119855 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 119856 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 120496 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 120497 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 120498 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 120499 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2012 Basking shark SPOT tag 120500 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2013 Basking shark SPOT tag 129435 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2013 Basking shark SPOT tag 129436 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2013 Basking shark SPOT tag 129437 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi
NMPi 2013 Basking shark SPOT tag 129438 surface positions (SNH WMS) 2012-01-01 to 2013-12-31 Access this map on NMPi

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