Discovery feature Sea Life Surveys video of Tobermory waters basking sharks

A Scotland-based wildlife expedition group has received sky high media attention after it deployed a drone to capture stunning footage of basking sharks in Tobermory waters. The Sea Life Surveys video was quickly picked up by Discovery, the America cable and satellite TV channel famous for pioneering Shark Week, an annual seven day long block celebrating all things finned and toothy.

Perched on the   Isle of Mull   in the Scottish Inner Hebrides, the tiny fishing port of Tobermory  is a favourite haunt with the local basking shark population. On one of its August expeditions the Sea Life Surveys crew was treated to an incredible experience with a shiver of the second largest sharks on the planet. Sea Life Surveys Richard Darby estimates that there were around 100 sharks basking in the water, most likely in search of mates.

Jamie Fairbairns, owner of Sea Life Surveys says, “ Tobermory is famous for its basking shark population, particularly in the warmer summer months. When we first saw the plethora of fins basking in the Scottish summer sunshine we could hardly believe our eyes, it was really something spectacular.”

Armed with a next generation DJI Phantom 2 drone and a submergible GoPro, Sea Life Surveys was able to capture incredible footage of the majestic creatures from both above and below. Such authentic and in-depth footage of the sharks in their natural habitat is rare which made the video an instant shoe in as a Discovery feature .

“There are few things more powerful than watching the world’s second largest fish navigate ocean waters with ease. Scotland-based Sea Life Surveys deployed drones and underwater cameras to capture breathtaking basking sharks in their natural habitat — combined with the serene soundtrack, the footage is positively stunning,” writes a staff member.

Fairbairns adds, “This is the first time we’ve deployed our drone and the timing could not have been more perfect. To capture such an event from the sky and the sea is something that wildlife enthusiasts dream of. The ability to get up in the sky and view the sharks from a bird’s eye perspective left us with some amazing footage that went on to capture the attention of one of the biggest wildlife goliaths on the planet. Needless to say, we’re thrilled with the result.”

For over 30 years Sea Life Surveys has been operating specialist wildlife trips in the remote and rugged waters of Scotland’s west coast. Here, the isolated islands and unpolluted seas provide the perfect environment for wildlife to flourish, supporting a vast abundance of breeding birds, seals, otters, whales, porpoise, sharks and dolphins.

Inspired by a close up encounter with a mysterious minke whale back in 1982, naturalist Richard Fairbairns went on to found research organisation, Mull Cetacean Project. Today, the group operated under the name of the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust, with funds for researching local cetacean populations raised by the commercial whale watching holidays and day trips run by Sea Life Surveys.

The incredible footage is a reflection of the group’s commitment to raising ocean awareness, spearheading conservation efforts and offering everyday people amazing experiences with Scotland’s marine life population.

To find out more about Sea Life Surveys, and the Hebridean Whale & Dolphin Trust, go to: