UPDATED: Shark found at Melmerby Beach

John Brannen
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Young blue sharks are less frequently seen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, says fisheries scientist

MELMERBY BEACH – A shark washed up on the shores of the Merb this weekend.

Photos posted on Facebook by Jeremy Allard show a dead young blue shark. This was confirmed by Dr. Steven E. Campana 
of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.

“Blue sharks are the most common large shark in Canadian waters, but are less frequently seen in the Gulf of St Lawrence, particularly at this time of year,” he said.

Blue sharks are not listed as an endangered species.

The photos were posted to Facebook around 9 p.m. on Sunday night. In the Facebook post, Allard said the shark was about five feet long.

“Looks like this shark may have came in close to shore to give birth and got stranded in low tide.”

The shark carcass was nowhere to be found on Monday.

“We certainly didn’t hear anything about it,” said Matthew Reid, a forestry technician with the Department of Natural Resources. “If it’s within the park boundaries, it’s our responsibility to clean it up.”

He noted that the last marine carcass that DNR had responded to was a 25-foot Minke whale on Piper's Path, Beech Hill Cove in Doctor's Brook, which is near Arisaig, this week.  

According to Campana, June to October is the blue shark’s most abundant time in this area.

“Blue sharks are seldom found in waters less than 30 metres deep, so are seldom encountered by swimmers,” he noted. “Even if they are though, they are not a safety concern for Canadian swimmers – there has never been a shark attack on a swimmer in Canadian waters.”

As to why it died, he can only speculate.

“The blood near the mouth suggests that it was hooked by a fisherman and may have died after it was released,” said Campana.

If you spot a dead animal on Melmerby Beach, please contact the Department of Natural Resources.

 

john.brannen@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsJohn

 

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Recent comments

  • jane
    November 22, 2013 - 08:55

    Shark in N.S. Yikes!!!

  • JohnnyMac
    November 19, 2013 - 07:22

    You know this is credible when the source is someones facebook page! Especailly if the DNR was not contacted. great work guys

    • Mike MacInnis
      November 19, 2013 - 12:07

      Johnny the story is true. I was there.. Read the comments below.

  • Sarah
    November 19, 2013 - 07:10

    Someone did try and contact the DNR but had no luck findin a number .. they were at the beach before this gentalman knew about it .. He's going by what the first person said .. Jeremey didn't find the shark .. Mike MacInnis did!!!

  • Mike MacInnis
    November 18, 2013 - 20:39

    I called DNR at 1pm in the after noon when i found this shark just as the tide was going out. I was bounced around to 4 different departments. Once even to the Coast Guard, so I gave up trying to report it.

    • Andrew Reid
      November 19, 2013 - 07:46

      Hello from the Marine Animal Response Society, We're always interested in hearing about animals coming ashore, alive or dead. Our toll free number is 1-866-567-6277. If anyone has any information about the minke near Arisaig, please forward them to marineanimalresponse@gmail.com. Thank you.

    • Mike MacInnis
      November 19, 2013 - 09:31

      Andrew that is one of the numbers I was given. When i called the girl on the phone said " Oh, well we only really deal with beached whales , let me give you another number, and that number was to the Coast Guard. Thats when i gave up trying to report this. No one wanted to deal with it. Lack of care or lack of training.. maybe both.

    • Mike MacInnis
      November 19, 2013 - 09:51

      Andrew that is one of the numbers I was given. When i called the girl on the phone said " Oh, well we only really deal with beached whales , let me give you another number, and that number was to the Coast Guard. Thats when i gave up trying to report this. No one wanted to deal with it. Lack of care or lack of training.. maybe both.

    • Francis McDean
      November 19, 2013 - 11:28

      Reporting to DNR is useless. They don't have the resources (ironically) or the knowledge to deal with these issues. Always search for an appropriate academic organization if you find something interesting and care about the information being useful to society. The government just collects your garbage.