Breaching Basking Sharks – Our First Collaborative Scientific Paper
Aug 31 2018
We’re proud to share the news of the publication of our first collaborative scientific paper. We have a long-standing partnership between Dr Mauvis Gore & Dr Rupert Ormond of Marine Conservation International and Heriot-Watt University for our science and conservation. This paper is the culmination of several years of work on interesting behaviours seen during our summer Hebrides seasons.
We hosted Heriot-Watt student Lotte Abels who assisted with observations of basking sharks during our tours, collecting information and data, specifically about basking shark breaching, swimming behaviours, mating scars, courtship displays much of which was observed during the summer season of 2016.
Observations were also made using drones during calm weather where feeding along tide lines was evident and during this time we were also lucky to be to see a breaching event from the air.
The full paper was published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom and can be seen here. The abstract can be seen below along with a short basking shark breaching video, taken during one of the trips. During this instance, there was a number of simultaneous breaches, whether this was the same individual or a number of different individuals is unknown.
Alongside hosting students during our tour season we gather public basking shark sightings, and have a dedicated research expedition which is looking at basking sharks in the clyde during autumn. For more information on all our science work around basking sharks, such as our marine plastic survey this year, then see this page here.