Request for Reports of Stranded

White Sharks from the
Pacific Northwest

White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) strandings are rarely reported.  Two cases are known from the Mediterranean and three from California.    Only one case each has been reported from British Columbia (BC) and Alaska (AK).  

Persistent rumours that "several" other White Shark strandings have occurred in the BC-AK region spurred  investigation of this phenomenon since 1986. Data on 16 verified White Shark strandings in this area have come to light, the details of which are presently being prepared for publication in the scientific literature. But biological details such as shark sex and length are scarce, frustrating attempts to identify causal factors.  

Reports and evidence of stranded White Sharks from the Pacific Northwest region are eagerly sought.

If you discover a stranded White Shark, check the state of the tides to make sure that you have enough time to process the specimen.  Processing depends on the time frame and equipment available, but ideally   involves five main stages, analysis, documentation, measurement, collection, and dissection.  Here's what to do for each of these (with the minimal equipment you'll need in parentheses):

Analyze (no equipment)

Document (camera)

Measure (measuring tape)

Collect (sharp knife or axe)

Dissect (sharp knife or axe, measuring tape)

For more about shark strandings in general, click HERE



ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research
Text and illustrations R. Aidan Martin
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