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Sharks of the North Pacific

Sep 18, 2011 | Gulf of Alaska Project | 0 comments

by Wyatt Fournier from the Northwest Explorer 


Blue shark
As we continue along our Gulf of Alaska survey, catching a wide variety of fish species, we are reminded that this productive ecosystem can support large marine predators. It’s not surprising that our surface trawl intercepts piscivorous sharks that are out hunting for a nutritious meal. Throughout the summer and fall, we’ve been catching salmon sharks, and during this leg we also caught three blue sharks. The salmon shark has a range around the Pacific Rim and has been observed across the GOA and in the Bering Sea. The blue shark’s distribution (see pic) is circumglobal in temperate and tropical waters, with few observations in Southeast and the central Gulf of Alaska. One of the more recent reports in Alaska comes from Yakutat where a blue shark was caught in a commercial net in 1997, which was a strong El Niño year. After we recorded the length and sex of each shark, we released them alive and well.

http://www.nprb.org/assets/images/uploads/blog/blueshark.2.jpg

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