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Follow Scottish sharks

Basking shark by Gavin Pasons

Armchair basking shark enthusiasts can get up close with the world’s second largest fish’s movements, around Western Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage has put satellite tags on the last 20 sharks for the year and the public can see their movements on a website. Eight sharks are viewable on the site, several of which have been tracked over the last few weeks.

Basking sharks are Britain’s largest fish and the second largest in the world. Their lives though are little known as they are only seen when their plankton food source rises to the surface. Therefore, little is known of the breeding population, feeding grounds, wintering locations and population dynamics. The UK is the best place in the world to find the species and so it is heartening for such wrk to be carried out.

Dr Suzanne Henderson from SNH, who is managing the basking shark tagging project, said: “It’s fascinating to see where the sharks have been going since they were tagged. We’re keen to learn more about the behaviour of the sharks during the summer months, when they can be seen at the surface in large numbers around the islands of Coll, Tiree, Canna and Hyskeir. And we’re particularly intrigued to see where they go during the winter.”

To see the website go to: http://www.wildlifetracking.org/?project_id=753