All tied up?

Posted by on Oct 5, 2012 in Sighting Updates | 2 Comments

One of the largest threats to basking sharks is vessel strikes. We recently posted a photograph of a shark that had evidence of propeller damage.

On August 19, 2012 the New England Aquarium spotted a basking shark with a very unusual dorsal fin. At first, we thought it might have suffered propeller damage in the past, but upon closer inspection, we think the marks and grooves might have been caused by an entanglement. These wounds have healed and there was no trace of any lines, but the interaction has left its permanent mark on the shark.

Photograph of a basking shark taken by the New England Aquarium on August 19, 2012 in the Bay of Fundy. We suspect the marks and grooves were caused by a past entanglement.

2 Comments

  1. Damo
    October 5, 2012

    Can you use the size of the fin to estimate the size of the shark?

    Reply
    • fundysharks
      October 5, 2012

      To my knowledge, nobody has looked at the whether there is a relationship between dorsal fin size and total length of the shark. It could prove difficult given dorsal fin shape varies between individuals and often, the dorsal fin is not entirely out of the water when photographed.
      When we are along side of the shark, we try to estimate the shark’s length relative to the length of our boat. Researchers studying basking sharks off the Isle of Man do the same. Check it out:
      http://www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com/

      Reply

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