Meet Charlie Young
Charlie is a marine scientist (MSc), has presented a number of wildlife films and TV programmes and is an avid traveller having spent time in the Canary Islands, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Australia to name but a few.
Her passion is the ocean and inspiring people to be conscious about the impact we all have on the oceans, particularly through our use of plastics and the impact of climate change.
As a scientist Charlie is in a unique ability to drive change for the future of the oceans, through the expeditions she plans, and hosts based around her research goals. During one such trip to Oman Charlie rescued a green sea turtle stuck in rocks on the beach, with the video going viral and over 70 mil views
In 2019, Charlie took her passion one step further launching Saltwater Britain, as a campaign to raise awareness of the diverse marine life found in the seas around Britain.
Embarking on this expedition, alongside having a great time, the group’s purpose was to collect important data on the basking shark population and understand the extent of microplastic pollution in this area.
The sharks were historically hunted in Scotland, even as recently as 1994. A more recent threat to basking sharks is from marine debris and microplastics. Microplastic surface trawls will also be completed throughout the trip and samples analysed back on land in the evening workshop.
Along with the study of the sharks the aim was to look for and record other exciting marine life such as whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and seabirds during the time at sea.
An Inspired brief
Charlie’s ambition was to create an unforgettable marine expedition in the Scottish Hebrides, sharing her passion for getting up close with Basking Sharks and other local marine life, whilst diving in the seas off the Island of Coll.
Charlie’s brief for Inspired was to co-create and operate her expedition to Scotland in search of Basking Sharks.
Her plan was to teach the group to use photo ID software, with the images taken going towards building a better understanding of the local population in the Hebrides.
We teamed up with the team of marine biologists at Basking Shark Scotland, to create the ultimate wildlife encounter off the coast of the Island of Coll for Charlie and her group.
Scotland is home to the largest aggregation of basking sharks in the world. Nowhere else on the planet can you get so up close and personal with these gentle giants.
The Island of Coll
Drawn to Scotland’s waters because of its rich plankton blooms, the sharks usually spend the summer feasting at the sun-baked surface making the most of the all you can eat buffet.
As the summer progresses, more and more sharks arrive, with the end of July generally being one of the peak times to see them.
Visiting at this time of year means there is also a chance of seeing not only an abundance of sharks but mating behaviour, breaching and chains of multiple sharks trailing one another at the surface as they feed.
Founded in 2012 by Shane Wasik, a marine biologist, Diver and underwater photographer, the focus is on delivering epic wildlife encounters in the waters around Scotland.
Today they run an active science programme as part of their operation, collecting data and running research expeditions tracking the sharks, identifying them through their Dorsal fins, monitoring sea conditions, in addition to collecting plankton samples for their oceanography study. Learn more about their work.
Charlie was joined by a small and intimate group on this specialist trip to the remote Isle of Coll in search of these majestic creatures.
The underwater world of the Hebrides is one of the most spectacular snorkelling spots in the UK. And on the last day we got to explore a particularly special place – and one of my favourite snorkel spots in Britain. Diving down amongst the billowing fronds I found colourful nudibranchs, quirky looking fish, boisterous crabs and sparkling rainbow wrack.🌈 Wishing I could stay in this wilderness forever,Charlie Young