PE Ledger

Great white shark sightings are becoming more usual in Atlantic Canada

PEI

Key takeaways: 

  • Two sightings off Nova Scotia’s South Shore this month.
  • As chief predators, sharks help manage populations of mid-level predators such as seals.

More great white sharks have recently floated in Atlantic Canada waters, which is excellent news.

In the last decades of the 20th century, significant white shark populations in the province were ruined when they were caught as by-catch, that is, accidentally captured while fishing for something different. The shark evolved into a guarded species in the mid-1990s.

“The sea has been out of proportion. We killed our shark population and overfished other things,” stated Bob Hueter, chief scientist with Ocearch in Sarasota, Fla.

“Now we’re beginning to get things back.”

As top predators, sharks help manage populations of mid-level predators such as seals.

Chris Harvey-Clark, a Halifax-based shark investigator, diver, and veterinarian at Dalhousie University, has seen protection measures’ outcomes.

“White sharks are not hard to find at all,” stated Harvey-Clark, who has helped movie almost 40 underwater documentaries.

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More great white sharks have recently floated in Atlantic Canada waters, which is excellent news

In November, he went on an excursion off Nova Scotia’s South Shore, using drones to find and diving cages to catch underwater shark images.

“[We] found it very easy to image big numbers of sharks. In one three-day period, we got 15 various sharks,” said Harvey-Clark.

Harvey-Clark will utilize his images to create a tool for specifying individual sharks. Unique markings can recognize individual sharks on their pelvic fins. Scarring and other markings can also help in identification.

And Harvey-Clark isn’t the best one finding sharks off the South Shore. Before this month, a solo diver saw one in St. Margaret’s Bay.

“The shark came in from deep water, had a glance at her, she threw up her arms, and it spun around and hightailed it out of there,” he said.

Source – CBC News

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