Whales, Dolphins and Basking Sharks

There is an amazing range of wildlife in the waters around the Isle of Mull and the Hebrides. Mull has always been the top place to watch Eagles in the UK, however it is now becoming one of, if not the best place to watch Whales, Dolphins and Basking Sharks. A fantastic place to watch these animals in the wild closer to home.

Tobermory, the 'Capital' of Mull, has a range of boat trips available to go and watch Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise, Seals and a range of Dolphin species. From short hour and a half cruises, to 6 hour Whale watching trips and week long live-aboard excursions there are trips to suit all.

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin trust (HWDT) – www.whaledolphintrust.co.ukis also located in Tobermory. A registered charity based on Mull that is involved in the monitoring of local whale and dolphin species. They also run 7 and 10 day live-aboard research trips and data collected on the local cruises are all reported to them to assist with research.

The waters around the Isle of Mull and the Hebrides as a whole are home to a range of sea life, from the diminutive Harbour Porpoise to the Majestic Minke Whale. Twenty four different cetacean species (the collective term for Whales, dolphins and Porpoises), have been seen around the Hebrides since research started about 20 years ago, including the largest animal on the planet, the Blue Whale. No matter when you visit there will always be something to see as we have a number of resident species like the Harbour Porpoise and Bottlenose Dolphins, others such as the Minke Whale and Common Dolphin only visit for the summer season, and some including the Fin Whale and Striped Dolphin are seen very infrequently.

Around the Hebrides we have warm Atlantic waters that mix with cooler coastal currents travelling north from Ireland. Research has shown that the area of mixing between these two currents produces the highest sighting rate. The cooler waters provide more nutrients to the warmer less nutrient rich waters, therefore the combination of the two provides the perfect conditions for plankton to bloom and start the all important food chain that can then support larger animals, such as the Bottlenose Dolphins, Minke Whales and Basking Sharks.

Explore our website for top tips on where to go to watch wildlife, further information on the range of species and read our online blog to find out what is happening in the sea around Mull at the moment.