Incredible new footage has highlighted the growing number of basking shark sightings in the waters off Scotland’s west coast.
The video was shot in the summer by Oban-based tour operators Basking Shark Scotland in the seas around Mull, Coll and Tiree in the Inner Hebrides.
The group reported its “best ever” year – with more than 700 sightings of the sharks between April and October, as well as more rare visitors to Scotland such as oceanic sunfish, the heaviest bony fish in the world, and a leatherback turtle.
The underwater filming was part of a major project to capture the very best of the Hebridean wildlife and create a special movie to showcase at international audiences at awards shows and film festivals.
Shane Wasik, owner of Basking Shark Scotland, said: “We are really happy with the incredible footage we were able to capture this year.
“It was an amazing year for marine wildlife and we are really lucky to be able to get into the right spots every day.
“We have world class wildlife on our doorstep but so far we haven’t seen any film that properly showcases it from an underwater perspective.
“We have high hopes to finish off the overall film this year and submit it for approval at international film festivals.
“In this way, we are hoping to bring the magic of the Hebrides to the whole world.
“However in addition, inspiring local people about the ocean that they live and work beside, is one of the rewards of doing such a project.
“With such precious marine life, everyone needs to take a part in looking after this environment.”
The basking shark – which has no teeth – is the second largest fish in the world, growing up to 33ft long.
They generally live in open waters, but move closer to shores in summer, when they can be seen “basking” at the surface, feeding with their huge mouths wide open.
Scottish Natural Heritage and Exeter University took part in a satellite tagging project in the west coast of Scotland between 2012 and 2014.
A total of 61 tags were put on basking sharks with the aim of solving some of the mysteries about their behaviour.
The new film was shot by Luke Saddler, the firm’s head guide and freelance videographer, and Mr Wasik.