The summer field season in the Bay of Fundy has wrapped up for another year. Researchers at the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station and the New England Aquarium are heading home and it seems that many of the critters in the Bay of Fundy are also heading south.
But now that field work is over, we have the time to start cataloguing our basking shark photographs for this year and seeing if we have any matches! We are also in the process of mapping all the sightings we received this past summer and hope to get some more maps up soon for sightings in the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.
In the meantime, check out these amazing photographs of basking sharks taken by Dana Cusano, a researcher with the New England Aquarium. Dana took these photographs while conducting research on humpback whales in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) in June 2012. You can learn more about their research here.
SBNMS is found at the mouth of Massachusetts bay, between Cape Cod and Cape Ann (see map below) and provides important habitat not only for the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, but also for other cetaceans like humpback whales, minke whales and finback whales. Turns out, basking sharks are also frequently seen in this area.
Dana photographed several basking sharks feeding at the surface on June 19 and 20, 2012 and even watched as two individuals followed each other, with mouths open, head to tail.