Risky business

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Sighting Updates | No Comments

Due to the large amount of time basking sharks spend at the surface, they are frequently seen in the Bay of Fundy. However, this behaviour of basking at the surface leaves them vulnerable to vessel collisions. It is not uncommon to see a shark bearing scars from an encounter with a vessel. We recently spotted a shark that suffered wounds to its dorsal fin, likely from a vessel’s propeller. 

 

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Left dorsal fin of a basking shark sighted August 20, 2012, showing evidence of a recent encounter with a ship’s propeller.

 

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Right dorsal fin of the same shark shown above (sighted August 20, 2012), bearing evidence of a recent encounter with a vessel.

Researchers at the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station are trying to evaluate the risk of vessel strike to basking sharks in the Bay of Fundy by using information such as the amount of vessel traffic in the Bay and estimating the proportion of time basking sharks spend at the surface, using data from our short-term tags (time-depth recorders). 

1 Comment

  1. All tied up? | Fundy Sharks
    October 5, 2012

    […] 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. […]

    Reply

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