The seas around Scotland are world class. They are home to a third of the world’s grey seals; 24 species of whale and dolphin, including the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphin, 43% of all seabirds breeding in the EU; basking sharks - the second largest fish on the planet - and are the UK stronghold for many important marine species and habitats, including coldwater coral reefs, burrowed mud communities, tideswept channels and maerl, horsemussel and flameshell beds. Scotland is of global importance for 24 species of seabird and also more obscure species such as pink sea fingers (a type of soft coral), tall sea pens and fireworks anemones. Scotland's seas also provide summer feeding grounds for the endangered leatherback turtle.
However, this precious biodiversity is under increasing threat from human activity, including fishing, aquaculture, climate change, offshore energy development and litter. You can help protect and recover Scotland’s marine wildlife by pledging your support for a comprehensive network of Scottish MPAs, sending us your sightings of marine wildlife or, if you are a diver, taking part in Seasearch.