Basking shark hotspots on the West Coast of Scotland: Key sites, threats and implications for conservation of the species
Scottish National Heritage
This is the final version of the report. It first appeared from Scottish Natural Heritage via http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/publications/commissioned_reports/339.pdf.
The Wildlife Trusts’ Basking Shark Project conducted effort-corrected line transect surveys for the basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) along the west coast of Scotland between 2002- 2006. A total of 11,179km of linear transects consisting of 956 hours duration were covered, and a total of 593 sharks were recorded whilst on transect. The project aimed to establish whether key sites (hotspots) existed for the species within the overall region, where significant numbers of sharks could be seen at the surface on a regular basis. This information could then be used to develop practical means of protecting surface swimming sharks at such sites, such as educational maps of the hotspot sites for distribution to leisure and commercial boat users, and to inform future developments within the marine environment e.g. fisheries and renewable energy developments.
The project enjoyed the support of many Organisations, both financially and in spirit. These include Natural England, The Wildlife Trusts, WWF-UK, Earthwatch Institute (Europe), The Born Free Foundation, The Shark Foundation (Hai Stiftung), The Shark Trust, the Marine Conservation Society, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Express Group, the Save Our Seas Foundation, Volvo Ocean Adventure, the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and Canon (UK). Their support was invaluable.
Copyright © Scottish Natural Heritage 2009.
Commissioned Report No.339