Did you know that you can join a boat in Oban to Swim with the Sharks?
Basking Shark Scotland (BSS) offers a variety of tours (from day-trips to 3+ day excursions) from April to October. You don't have to be an experienced diver as you can join a tour as an observer and not get your feet wet. But if you are keen to immerse yourself (both in the water and in the experience) then interaction with a Basking Shark will surely be an activity that deserves bucket list status!
We asked Shane Wasik who runs Basking Shark Scotland what the chances of success were for visitors taking a tour this summer.
"We operate in one of the world's 'hot spots' for basking sharks and whilst we can't guarantee a sighting of Scotland's largest fish our figures in 2016 were pretty impressive. Even if you miss out on the sharks the wildlife and scenery are superb and any trip is going to be memorable. Last year was a good year for sightings throughout Scotland with 405 reported. Numbers peak in the summer months and we're nearing the summer solstice on the 21st June and activity quite often increases from then on so the chances are better than good just now."
Basking Sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) are protected by government legislation including the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004 and Schedule 5 of Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. BSS operates their own Code of Practice and complys with the MCS/Shark Trust Code of Practice and Scottish Marine Wildlife Watching Code. These giant fishes were previously hunted and it is not clear how population numbers were affected during hundreds of years (and thousands of fish) of harpooning. Indeed very little is known about these ocean leviathans and BSS takes part in an annual research programme to learn more about their annual southerly migration and their lives at sea.
Find out more and book tours and trips on their website