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Have you seen this shark

Release date: August 2021
Poster:  Have you seen this shark
Description: Have you seen this shark - Poster

Help us monitor the endangered Pacific population of basking sharks

Basking sharks are gentle giants that eat tiny animals called zooplankton. They used to be abundant in Canadian Pacific waters, but are now listed as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Fisheries and Oceans Canada is collecting information on basking shark sightings. Your information will help to determine how many basking sharks there are now in Canadian Pacific waters and where they are found, and will be used to assist in their recovery.

How to identify a basking shark

First of all, they are big – up to 12 m (40 ft) long. Look for a huge, gaping mouth with tiny teeth; gill slits that wrap almost entirely around the head; and a short, conical snout. As a basking shark feeds open-mouthed near the surface of the ocean, you can often see the tip of the snout, the large triangular dorsal fin, and the tip of the crescent-shaped caudal (tail) fin.

Be cautious. Take a photo.

If you see a basking shark and you are on the water, slow down to less than 5 knots and keep 100 m away. Take photographs or videos for verification. Good quality photographs of dorsal fins and other distinguishing features (caudal fin, snout) can be used to identify species and even individuals.

To report your sightings or incidents

Visit our website and use the online form

Contact us directly at:

Basking Shark Sightings
Pacific Biological Station
Nanaimo, BC V9T 6N7

Toll-free: 1-877-50-SHARK (1-877-507-4275)