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About us

Basking Shark Scotland RIB

About us

Basking Shark Scotland is an innovative wildlife & water sports tour business based in Oban on the west coast of Scotland. We operate high-quality wildlife & water sports tours around the Hebrides with a focus on snorkeling and wildlife adventure. Our dedicated staff are qualified in marine science and professional diving, enabling you have a immersive and safe experience exploring the Atlantic coastline.

Here’s a great video made by Wilderness Scotland with what we’re all about.

Insider’s Scotland S1:E6 – Marine Adventures from Wilderness Scotland on Vimeo.


How it All Began?

We started in 2012 when founder Shane Wasik returned from living in New Zealand. At the time he found himself struggling for exciting employment opportunities as a marine biologist, diver and underwater photographer. Racking his brains, he remembered the transformational experience of swimming with basking sharks when he was younger. Since Scotland is the world’s No. 1 basking shark hotspot, he was sure that people would be interested in the same adventure. Using the experience gained on shark diving adventures around the South Pacific, and following his immersion in the kiwi ‘can-do’ culture, he came up with a plan to run basking shark & adventurous ocean exploring tours. With all the exciting pictures and videos produced from our first outings, people started travelling from all over the world for a chance to swim with the big fish and the rest is history.

Our Focus

We are passionate about the marine environment and have created a code of conduct to ensure our operations have no impact on the areas or species we visit. We have an active science programme which every tour contributes to, as we are in a unique position where we observe and swim with more basking sharks than anyone else in the whole world. As well as our dedicated basking shark tours we run a variety of swim, paddle, snorkel & dive adventures. Showcasing what you don’t see in the guide books and having wholesome water based experiences.

Our Credentials


Basking Shark Scotland are members of Wild Scotland. This a nature tourism body for Scotland and we use their standards and guidelines for all our operations around Scotland’s wildlife. Wild Scotland’s members operate on the following principles ;

  • Minimising any negative impact on local nature and culture.
  • Promoting knowledge and respect for nature and communities and supporting local economies.
  • Investing in enhancing Scotland’s natural heritage and improving environmental performance.

We are registered BSAC Snorkelling Centre No:191, meaning we have national accreditation for snorkel training and experiences. Shane is an Advanced Instructor & First Class Diver.

Our operations are WISE Master accredited. WISE is the body set up to ensure wildlife operators act with the highest knowledge, respect and appropriate behaviour around marine wildlife. Along with our other environmental credentials, we ensure that we adhere to and demonstrate best environmental practice.

We are honoured to be part of the Global Shark Diving Alliance. This is a group of shark businesses around the world that are striving to be the best in their fields. All the businesses have the following commitments:

  • Safety is a primary concern
  • Dedication to conservation
  • Support & facilitate research.

Have a look at the website and the Global Shark family here.

Through the Visit Scotland tourism authority, we have been assessed and graded on a variety of criteria to review our tours. This includes having a mystery visitor on our tours to ensure impartial assessment.  We are very proud to list that we achieved the highest 5* award rating under ‘wildlife experience’ which reflects the hard work of our staff and the quality of our products, boats and gear. For more information about tourism and visiting Scotland – see the Visit Scotland website here.

A big success for us in 2018, was progressing through the entry, heats and then the final of the Scottish Edge competition. This is a Dragon’s Den style, business pitching competition.  In the final round, you give a business pitch in front of a packed theatre audience and judging panel and are then questioned on all aspects of your ideas. We were delighted to make our way through some very stiff competition to become the winner.

The award helped us refit our original vessel, Cearban Beag, you can see more about our boats here.

We are a USEA Centre and Shane is also a USEA Master. USEA is the Undersea Soft Encounter Alliance. An international organisation of marine animal professionals who have committed to the soft encounter approach for interactions with marine mammals. We use this approach with our seal interactions.

In 2018 we were awarded the ‘Best Outdoor/ Adventure Experience’ at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards. Of course, we were delighted to be recognised for this award given the prestigious businesses and organisations in the area running great experiences.
We put a lot of effort into making our tours high quality, having good kit, amazing staff and investing in our business.


Shane & Nikki receiving the award at HITA 2018

Ready to join us on an adventure?