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Scotland's Wildlife

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 they provide summer feeding grounds for the endangered leatherback turtle. Coldwater coral reefs, burrowed mud communities, tideswept channels and maerl, horsemussel and flameshell beds, are all part of the rich tapestry of Scottish waters.

You may not have heard of pink sea fingers (a type of soft coral), tall sea pens and fireworks anemones, but they’re all there under the waves.

Threat to Wildlife

However, this precious biodiversity is under increasing threat from human activity, including fishing, aquaculture, climate change, offshore energy development and litter.

Protect Wildlife: Pledge your Support

You can help protect and recover Scotland’s marine wildlife by supporting well-protected MPAs, sending us your sightings of marine wildlife or, if you are a diver, taking part in Seasearch.

Actions you can take

  1. Browse Marine Protected Areas
  2. Report your wildlife sightings

Did you know?…

Over 15,000 marine species are found in UK seas

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

Scotland’s Parliament: Ambitions for Scotland announced - MCS comment

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out a big Programme for Government in Scotland’s Parliament.

Read comment from MCS