About us

Report a Shark, Skate or Ray in BC

Report a Shark, Skate or Ray in BC
If you catch a shark or skate while fishing or see one washed up on a beach, we want to hear from you! Here are some steps you can take quickly and with little equipment. Note if a beached shark is alive or shows any responsiveness - do NOT touch it. If you happen to catch the shark while fishing please take a photo and release the animal alive.

Essential information to record

  • Record date, time and location including GPS coordinates (if possible)
  • Length from tip of nose to tip of tail (use your foot length if no equipment is available)
  • Behaviour - if alive what was it doing
  • Sex – males have claspers
  • Any marks, injuries or fishing gear that suggests how the animal may have died

Photograph details to take

  • Whole animal, preferably the SIDE view (include hand or foot for scale)
  • Underside of the head and under the pectoral fins
  • Underside of the pelvic fins (verifies shark’s sex)
  • Teeth, close-up (verifies species identification)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Mermaid's Purses

Be on the lookout for skate egg cases a.k.a. “Mermaid’s purses” on your local beaches. Late winter and early spring is when these marine jewels wash up. These tough, brown, leathery cases are made of chitin and contain the embryos of skate species. Egg cases usually wash up empty or full of sand, but sometimes they still contain young skate embryos.

On January 18th we did an egg case survey on Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park and found 14 big skate and 5 longnose skate egg cases. Eleven skates species inhabit the coastal waters of Vancouver Island and each produces a unique egg case, but the big and longnose skates are the most common. Big skate egg cases are the most distinctive and can hold up to 7 young skates, whereas other skate species only have one individual per egg case.

Remember mermaid’s purses are a treasure for all to see so please leave them on the beaches for the next treasure hunter to discover.