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by David McGowan from the Northwest Explorer 

Thresher shark.

Today, we experienced quite a surprise in the last surface trawl of the day – a 15-ft thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus). This large male specimen encountered in our haul shatters the published record, and is most likely the furthest north this species has ever been encountered in the eastern Pacific. This pelagic species is globally distributed and frequently encountered in pelagic fisheries, yet is an extremely rare occurrence in northeastern Pacific waters. In fact, the northern-most extent of the thresher shark’s range is British Columbia, Canada according to published accounts. An anecdotal account reported a thresher shark landed in Sitka, Alaska, in1990, but did not specify where it was captured. Fortunately, our record-holder is still swimming the seas, as he was safely released alive in good condition.