Shark Facts Part II: Singing the BLUES

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Shark Facts! | No Comments

Blue shark

The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is the most common species of sharks found in Canadian waters, however it is not frequently encountered in the Bay of Fundy. However, this year, there have been several blue shark sightings in the Bay. Researchers at the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station have sighted blue sharks 5 times in August.


Locations of blue shark sightings off Grand Manan Island, Bay of Fundy, by researchers at the Grand Manan Whale & Seabird Research Station

Here are some facts about blue sharks:

  • One of the most widely-distributed sharks, they are found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and inhabit tropical and temperate waters.
  • Most common, large pelagic shark seen in Atlantic Canada, where they are found off southeastern Newfoundland, the Grand Banks, Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Scotian Shelf and the Bay of Fundy.
  • Blue sharks are aptly named: they are a deep, indigo blue above and lighter white below. They are long and slender, reach 12-13ft and have long pectoral fins.
  • Highly migratory, blue sharks have been recorded to travel over 9000 km and only a portion of their North Atlantic population is present in Canadian waters seasonally.
  • In Canada, a blue shark-directed fishery exists, but is rarely pursued due to this species’ low market value.
  • The main threat to blue sharks is by-catch in fisheries.
  • Blue sharks are listed as species of “special concern” under COSEWIC.

Photograph of the blue shark researchers spotted on August 22, 2012. By no means a National Geographic shot, the quickly snapped photograph did allow researchers to confirm species id.

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