Report a Shark

Photo: Basking Shark

Basking Shark (confirmed): Brooks Peninsula, August 2013. Photo by Wendy Szaniszlo

Everyone that encounters a Basking Shark, Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, Tope Shark, or any other shark species in BC (with the exception of North Pacific Spiny Dogfish) is encouraged to document and report the encounter to DFO.  

Report your encounter to a local Fisheries Officer, call our toll free line: 1-877-50-SHARK (1-877-507-4275), or:    

You should document as many details of the encounter as possible, including: 

  • Photograph(s) or video of the shark, including the dorsal fin;
  • Date of the encounter and time of day;
  • Location (as specific as possible, e.g. positional GPS data);
  • Estimates of the total length and sex (males have claspers, see Figure 2) of the shark(s); 
  • Any distinguishing features (e.g. colour, scars), behaviours, visible wounds, swimming ability of the shark post-release; and
  • Your name and contact information (voluntary)

For more information, please see the Codes of Conduct for Shark Encounters and Basking Shark Encounters.

Diagrams of a Bluntnose Sixgill Shark  and Tope Shark

Figure 1.

Diagram of a (A) Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) and (B) Tope Shark (Galeorhinus galeus). Total length is measured as a straight-line distance from the tip of the snout to the tip of the upper lobe of the caudal (tail) fin. Maximum total lengths for each species are indicated. Illustration by Jennifer Stone.

Diagram of the ventral side of a shark

Figure 2.

Diagram of the ventral side of a shark, showing the location of the paired claspers (reproductive organs) in male sharks.