Basking shark

A basking shark off Scotland's west coast

Basking shark satellite tracking

As part of a continuing project, the University of Exeter and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have attached satellite tracking tags to nearly 50 basking sharks in the seas around the Inner Hebrides, off Scotland's west coast, since the summer of 2012. These tags enable scientists and members of the public to track the movements of the sharks on the SNH website in close-to-real time. 

The project team uses a range of tracking devices to gather more information on how the sharks use the area and where they go in winter. The results will help the Scottish Government decide whether a Marine Protected Area should be put in place to safeguard the sharks and to balance environmental interests with industry and recreation. In the programme’s first year, two sharks travelled much further than expected; one reached the west coast of Portugal and the other the Canary Islands, just off Africa, over 3000 km away.

Principal researchers

Grants and funding

This is a joint research programme undertaken in collaboration with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

Project website

Visit the SNH website for updates on the project.