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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. Report your wildlife sightings
  2. Browse Marine Protected Areas

Did you know?…

To the shelf limits, Scotland has 61% of UK waters, of which 23% are now in existing or new ‘marine protected areas’

Over 1,000 marine wildlife sightings were reported to MCS last year

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

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

Stop the plastic tide

Support our appeal to turn the tide on plastics.

Find out more