Canadian Pacific Shark Research Lab

Photo: Basking Shark courtesy of NOAA

Basking Shark. Photo: courtesy of NOAA

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is committed to developing the highest standard of bycatch data, and to the conservation of shark species in British Columbia waters.

Big skate (Raja binoculata), longnose skate (Bathyraja interrupta) and sixgill shark (Hexanchus griseus) are regularly taken as bycatch in British Columbia fisheries, while directed commercial fisheries for spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) have existed since the 1800s.

The information in these guides is designed to assist DFO to monitor bycatch, and fish harvesters to correctly identify bycatch and to enter it in logbooks:

Elasmobranchs Research

Elasmobranchs are a class of fish comprised of sharks, skates and rays. These fish have cartilaginous skeletons, hard teeth and well developed jaws.

Research is focused on the requirements for improved assessment and management. Researchers are working to determine the number and geographical limits of British Columbia elasmobranch populations and to obtain accurate life history parameters for those populations.

Ongoing research on elasmobranchs at the Pacific Biological Station includes:

Did you know?

Within British Columbia there are three species of ray, ten species of skates and fourteen shark species.

Stock Assessment

In 2001 an initial review of the biology and catch histories for elasmobranchs (excluding spiny dogfish) was produced for the Pacific Scientific Advice Review Committee (2001/129). The research document represents an initial phase in developing stock assessment advice and management scenarios for skates and sharks in British Columbia. In 2009, an assessment is planned for spiny dogfish.

Looking for more information?

Please contact Jackie King for more information about ongoing work on elasmobranchs at the Pacific Biological Station.