100 basking sharks pictured off coast of Scotland

THESE are the dramatic pictures of 100 basking sharks swimming off the west coast of Scotland.

Underwater shot of a basking shark off the West Coast of Scotland. Picture: Hemedia

Footage of the plankton-eating fish was captured by the Isle of Mull-based Sea Life Surveys who used a drone off the Isle of Coll.

The company launched a drone into the air and sent one crew member into the water to capture the animals in their natural habitat.

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The area is a well-known for hosting basking sharks searching for potential mates, with large numbers of them being sighted during the summer months.

There were around 100 basking sharks off the Isle of Coll. Picture: Hemedia

Sea Life Surveys have run a whale, porpoise, shark and dolphin watch for more than 30 years, and have developed a marine survey and education outreach programme in that time.

Richard Darby, manager of the Tobermory-based company, said: “There are a lot of basking sharks around at the moment. It was quite spectacular.

“We couldn’t believe it. It is the first time we have used a drone and the results were amazing.

“We recently had a basking shark so big it was almost as long as our boat which is 42ft.

A drone was used to get aerial photos of the sharks. Picture: Hemedia

“It seems they really have gathered here in the last few weeks after a previous quiet period for them.”

Owner James Fairbairn, who was piloting the drone, said he was really impressed by the photo of a basking shark under the water.

James said: “The underwater picture was actually taken using a GoPro attached to the end of a pole and stuck under the water. It turned out incredibly well.

“Having the drone was great as it let us film from a few different perspectives and end up with some fantastic footage.”