White shark stranded at Pointe-Sapin: “it’s very rare”, says a researcher

While it’s not unusual for a shark to not survive to adulthood for a number of reasons, the chances of stumbling across a shark carcass on a beach walk are more than slim. In the region.

It’s still quite rare to find a carcass, especially in such a well-preserved state in New Brunswick or anywhere else in Atlantic Canada. »

A quote from Jeffrey Gallant, Scientific Director of the St. Lawrence Shark Observatory

Jeffrey Gallant believes the white shark may have died in the last days: the fact that its eyes are still intact indicates that it did not float long at sea.

Photo: (Facebook/Saint Laurent Shark Observatory/credit: Pierrette Landry)

There are no identifiable apparent injuries in the photos taken at Pointe-Sapin; no sign of collision or bite from another shark either, points out Jeffrey Gallant.

He’s a perfectly healthy looking shark.he claims, adding that the blood visible on his mouth can be due to several circumstances.

Jeffrey Gallant indicates that the presence of sharks in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the Northumberland Strait is usual from July to November.

L’ORS is also convinced that the population has been increasing in this sector for the past 30 years.

We really can’t tell how there are right now, says Jeffrey Gallant; only a tiny part of this population is currently hunted down.

A shark at Pointe-Sapin?

According to the scientific director, two hypotheses are plausible to explain the presence of the shark stranded at Pointe-Sapin. The first is that the animal may have washed ashore while hunting seals in the area.

It is a place that does not have a great depth of water, so a younger and a little clumsy shark who lacks experience could accidentally go strandedsays Jeffrey Gallant. If so, a shark may struggle for a long time trying to get back out to sea, the shark may hurt itself and have internal injuries.

The second hypothesis involves human activity.

It happens, on occasion, that fishermen will accidentally catch a great white shark while fishing for tuna.says Jeffrey Gallant. It may be a shark that was caught and released, but released in a physical condition not suitable for long-term survival.

If he could not eat or survive, it would therefore be a question of winds and currents that would have brought the white shark to this beach.

I’m leaning more towards the hypothesis that it was a shark that accidentally washed ashore so there might not be human relations in the fact that the shark diedsays Jeffrey Gallant.


A DFO study project combining gray seals and sharks is underway to try to better understand shark behavior by studying seals in the area.

Photo: (Facebook/Saint Laurent Shark Observatory/credit: Pierrette Landry)

A team from Fisheries and Oceans Canada from Nova Scotia was dispatched to go to the scene and recover the carcass of the white shark, says Jeffrey Gallant. A necropsy will be performed on the animal.

It’s not always conclusive, but in many cases, by doing a necropsy, we are able to find out why the shark died.explains Jeffrey Gallant. It can help science. By doing a necropsy, we will be able to find out what happened to the animal and see if there are any measures to take to protect them further.

The white shark, he recalls, is an endangered species and plays an essential role in maintaining the biodiversity of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

And climate change?

If the waters warm up, the sharks will stay longer in the gulf. This is the only correlation for the moment that we make, between the presence of the shark and climate change.

The only correlation that we make between the presence of the shark and climate change is really on the duration of the seasonal passage in the gulf. The shark has always been present in the gulf, on an annual basishe said. Climate change will have an impact in the sense that the waters will be more hospitable for the shark, for a longer time.

Sharks keep closer to the surface than at depth, where the waters are colder. It also finds most of its prey there, especially the seal.

The article is in French

Tags: White shark stranded PointeSapin rare researcher